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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But ...

By Ed de la Vega, DDS

Sun, 06 Sep 2009

In the past, it’s always been the Filipinos against the Mexicans. Not that I am complaining but I really think another rivalry is brewing in the pot. This time it will be Filipinos against the Puerto Ricans.

Marvin Sonsona, the kid they called “Marvelous” started it all and lived up to his hype. He won via a UD over Jose "Carita" Lopez and grabbed the WBO super flyweight title from the game veteran.

Score: Philippines – 1, Puerto Rico – O.

Many thought Sonsona would be hard pressed to take the crown from Lopez. Others said it may even be impossible.

Sonsona, they say is too young and possibly too inexperienced to fight for the title. But his record and past performances, all 13 of them, impressed his handlers and they assumed he is ready.

In the end, the kid from GenSan proved the detractors wrong and made geniuses of his handlers and his trainers.

Along the way, he even knocked down Lopez but unfortunately he was not able to finish him. But just the same, he got the nod from all the judges. Even without the points deducted from Lopez due to low blows, Sonsona was still ahead on points and would have still won the fight, thanks largely to the knockdown he scored in round four.

Sonsona’s victory can be largely attributed to his primary trainer Jun Agrabio. Agrabio really molded the kid into what he is today.

Then Samson Gello-ani brought in Nonito Donaire Sr. That in itself was a brilliant move from the budding promoter from Cebu.

Donaire Sr supplemented the fundamentals ingrained by Agrabio. He polished the little kinks and added his own flair, the same flair we all have seen his son Jun-Jun display on the ring every time he fights.

The combined efforts of the two trainers paid off handsomely. Now we have another Filipino world champion.

Next up will be Rodel Mayol.

Mayol will be trading leathers with Ivan Calderon, the Puerto Rican WBO Light flyweight title holder on Saturday, September 12th.

This will be Mayol’s second chance against Calderon and his 4th over-all title fight. Mayol and Calderon first fought at the MSG in New York and the fight ended in a technical draw due to cuts secondary to head butts.

Mayol will be fighting Calderon in Puerto Rico and that makes it doubly hard for him to win. Calderon has a “hometown advantage” and if Mayol does not overwhelm Calderon with a convincing performance, his chances of winning the title are slim and none.

Sadly it seems that is how the game is played. But not always.

Then in November comes the biggest fireworks of them all. Manny Pacquiao will be challenging Miguel Cotto for his WBO Welterweight title. As everyone knows, it will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Many had been written about the said fight. Therefore, it is futile to add further to the ink spread about the much awaited event.

Suffice it to say, it will be the third Philippines vs. Puerto Rico fight and it will be the most exciting and the most explosive fight for the fall season, the Marquez-Mayweather fight in the 19th of this month notwithstanding.

Will the Philippines shut out Puerto Rico and grabbed the titles?

Certainly, that is a possibility that is greater than great.

If Mayol takes care of Calderon, the Philippines might just score a shut-out because Pacquiao is the odds on favorite to win in November.

Philippines - 3, Puerto Rico - O.

Hmmm, that certainly has a nice ring to it.

How I wish Donnie Nietes’ Mexican opponent next week-end is a Puerto Rican too. That would have easily upped the score to 4-0.

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