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List of Articles by Dr. Allan Recto


By Dr. Allan Recto
07 Jun 2014

Manhattan, New York City (06-06-2014) - Making his way out of the hotel lobby, sensational Filipino fighter Marvin Sonsona gave the two thumbs up sign and with a boyish grin jokingly stated, “Bakbakan na, ah hindi, timbangan pa lang pala!” (translation: Let the fight begin now...oh no, it’s just the weigh-in!)

On their way to the weigh-in earlier this afternoon, Miguel Cotto and Team, alongside renowned trainer Freddie Roach and Top Rank publicist Ricardo Jimenez, crossed the corner of 33rd St. and 8th Ave. enroute to Madison Square Garden, with Team Sonsona trailing not too far behind. Several onlookers recognized and greeted Miguel Cotto, noticeably wearing headphones, and nodded when this writer gave the three division Puerto Rican title-holder a thumbs up sign. Both Team Cotto and Team Sonsona entered the secured fighters’ team entrance almost at the same time. Inside the historic venue, Team Cotto was directed by security personnel to the VIP dressing room while Team Sonsona, being in the undercard, took their respective seats near the
stage, mixing with the rest of the other boxing teams and credentialed media present.

The atmosphere at the weigh-in in Madison Square Garden, the site of one of boxing’s biggest event this year, was truly electrifying. Chants from different countries - USA, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Argentina - could be heard loudly as well as some few boos. There were scattered Filipinos in the audience as well.

When it was their turn, Filipino boxer Marvin “Marvelous” Sonsona, and Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. from Puerto Rico both checked-in even at 125.8 lbs in the scales. At the stage before Vasquez, Jr. got weighed, his strength and conditioning coach, Angel “Memo” Heredia, was behind him. When their face off began, Vasquez, Jr. started making mid-air punching motions toward Sonsona, who kept clapping and laughed at the Puerto Rican, saying, “Now, it’s time. It’s my time now!” several times to his opponent’s face. The two warriors then faced the audience for the routine picture taking, with the NABF Featherweight belt separating them. Vasquez, Jr. looked smaller but carried a six-pack abdominal musculature and Sonsona was visibly taller yet less muscular. This did not worry Filipino promoter Sammy Gello-ani a bit as he seated amongst us and when I pointed it out, he simply shrugged the issue off stating Team Sonsona knew beforehand who was training Wilfredo Vasquez, Jr. According to promoter Gello-ani, Sonsona did train very hard for this fight.

Moments later, Sonsona re-hydrated and ate near the left of the stage confiding to this writer that he noticed how much taller he had become compared to his first fight with Vasquez, Jr. in 2010. When Vasquez, Jr. and his Team passed by, he clapped his hands in front of Sonsona’s face. This writer followed Vasquez, Jr. and asked if there was anything he wanted to say about his fight with Sonsona tomorrow night. When asked of any predictions, Vasquez, Jr. managed to say - “I feel good. 10 rounds.”

Challenging him to state a KO prediction- “That’s it, no knockouts?” I questioned him, Vasquez walked away insisting, “My prediction is 10 rounds.” There was a commotion in the stage when the main event fighters were called. Sonsona arose from his seat to look at the stage. This writer asked Sonsona about his prediction and he replied - “I also predict 10 rounds, but if the knockout presents, I’ll take it.” Both fighters beamed with pride, showing each other a certain degree of confidence, with Marvin Sonsona stating to his trainer Jun Agrabio- “There’s a huge difference from our previous fight. I could see that I’ve grown bigger and taller than him, we’ll see what happens come Saturday in the ring.”

Since this writer haven’t personally known or met Sonsona before, I just size him up to be very relax and confident fighter and his willingness to exact revenge in this re-match can be felt in his demeanor. Team Sonsona immediately left for their hotel while Cotto was on the scales before world class ring announcer Michael Buffer declared, “155 lbs. for the challenger.” The WBC champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez weighed-in at 158.8 lbs. Both fighters made weight in their first attempt for the WBC World Middleweight Championship belt/title. There were boos from the crowd as Martinez stepped into the scales.

Later on, this writer managed to ask promoter Lou Dibella what he estimated the crowd currently present at the weigh-in and he concluded between 3,000-3,500. An Argentinian faction in the crowd could be heard boisterously shouting and waving their flag chanting- ”Ole, ole, ole” rooting for their main guy Sergio Martinez. Coach Freddie Roach defended his position while being interviewed at the right side of the stage, insisting on his earlier KO prediction, in favor of his fighter Miguel Cotto.

Back at the lobby of the hotel, this writer caught up again with Marvin Sonsona who was still hydrating himself, under the watchful eye of his trainer. Sonsona again reiterated, “It’s my time. I’m ready for this rematch!” Team Sonsona posed for a group picture which included Sonsona’s manager Dr. Rajan Yraola and his wife Christine, together with their friend from San Diego named Julius, in-charge of Sonsona’s fluids and nutrition.

Meanwhile, Filipino promoter Gello-ani recalled to Dong Secuya and myself the statement of his fighter during a presscon in Macau, China when he was asked how the boxing world will remember him. Sonsona stated, “On Saturday, they will know who Marvin Sonsona is!” That statement may continue here on HBO PPV at the Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 7, 2014. The wait is almost over.

Back to Dr. Allan Recto's Articles Listing

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