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Marvin Sonsona vs. Wilfredo Vasquez Jr Fight Preview and Pick

Marvin Sonsona vs. Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr.
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2010
Location: Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico
TV: PPV at 9:00 EST
Weight Class:WBO Junior Featherweight Championship

By Scotty L of

Marvin Sonsona, 14-0-1 (12 KOs), General Santos, Philippines vs. Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr., 17-0-1 (14 KOs), Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Betting Odds: Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. -220/Marvin Sonsona +180

Fight Analysis: Marvin Sonsona, considered by some to be the Filipino heir-apparent to Manny Pacquiao, steps up to 122 lbs. to fight fellow prospect Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. This bout will be part of a title fight doubleheader televised on PPV.

Sonsona, only 19, is a flashy southpaw who ran into a little trouble in his previous fight. After failing to make 115 lbs. he struggled to a draw against unexceptional Alejandro Hernandez. Failing to make weight for your first title bout is not a great sign, and there has been some questions surrounding Sonsona’s level of commitment.

Nevertheless, he is a talented and fast southpaw. One is almost inclined to give him a pass for that. He is still filling out and not being able to make 115 lbs. anymore might not be a condemnation of his desire, though it is something to keep an eye on. He has been moved very quickly, as it unusual for a fighter still in his teens to be thrown into title bouts. There is no doubt his talent warrants it.

Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr., 25, has been watched carefully since turning pro. Such is usually the case when a fighter has the name of a great fighter with “Jr.” at the end of it. His father was a great fighter, a champion in three different weight classes who had a wonderful career. Fans, however, have become conditioned to be skeptical towards the sons of greats. Looking at some of the more popular “juniors” it is easy to see why. They typically not only fail to live up to their expectations, but also crash and burn quite spectacularly.

Watching Vasquez, Jr. struggle two years ago to a draw with 9-4-3 Jorge Cardenas, he appeared to perfectly fit the mold of the fighter with a great name, but without the great skills to match. Much to his credit, he has since put together a nice string of victories that has insiders changing their perception a bit. While not much of a speedster, he is a genuinely confident and hard-hitting fighter. He is less flashy than Sonsona, but perhaps more robust and with greater strength than Sonsona.

Both men can hit. With 26 knockouts in 29 combined wins, we can expect some fireworks in this fight. We can expect both fighters to be at or close to their best, as they challenge for Juan Manuel Lopez’ old belt. With some good fights to be made at and around 122 lbs., a win here would provide a gigantic boost to the winner, while the loser goes to the back of the pack.

Sonsona backers should be cautious. The fight is in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, which is Vasquez, Jr’s hometown. Anyone watching boxing this year knows the judging has been suspect. So betting on a visiting fighter in Puerto Rico should send up some red flags. Perhaps the fact that is a world title bout will lend some more credibility to the judging, as the WBO rather than the commission in Puerto Rico will select the arbiters. However, it is always disconcerting to bet on a fighter in his opponents’ hometown, especially when he is a 19 year-old kid.

Sonsona is moving up two weight classes, though it only spans seven pounds. I think he has been recently fighting the slightly better competition. Vasquez, Jr. has some decent wins, but most of his opponents had not been in excellent form at the time they fought him. I think Sonsona will be his most talented opponent he has had thus far in his career.

I think that Sonsona is a little too quick and sharp for Vasquez. The question is if Vasquez can bridge the gap with his greater strength, maturity, and hometown advantage. To some degree, I believe he can. I expect a high-energy, closely-contested bout. I think Sonsona will be able to stay out of serious trouble with his speed advantage and movement. I think Vasquez, Jr. will find it difficult to corral Sonsona in a manner he will need to do in order to win this bout.

With respectful trepidation, I pick Sonsona to continue his ascent. How far he can eventually go is anybody’s guess, but I think he can rise above the level Vasquez, Jr. represents.

Prediction: Take Marvin Sonsona to win.

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