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List of Articles by Rob Cruz



Sonsona vs Vazquez Jr. – A Championship Showdown in Bayamon

By Rob Cruz
PhilBoxing.com
17 Jan 2010



Expect spectacular executions of power punches from both Marvin Sonsona and Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. when these two young boxers face each other on February 27 in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Both boxers are still undefeated and can overwhelm each other with a packed punch at any given time. As of December 2009, the WBO Junior Featherweight division ranks Vazquez Jr. (17W-0L-1D, 14KO) 2nd and Sonsona (14W-0L-1D, 12KO) ranks 3rd. Due to their styles of boxing, expect a head on collision when they meet and here can only be one champion, somebody's 0 will have to go.

Here is how the Sonsosa vs Vazquez Jr fight breaks down. Marvin will have his work cut out as the odds are stacked against him as he will need to elevate his boxing skills like never before. He is up against an aggressive, surging and probably the best boxer he's ever faced in the ring thus far. He will also be fighting in Vazquez's home turf in Bayamon, Puerto Rico which makes Marvin clearly the underdog. The locals will also be looking forward to a hometown victory in what will bring them satisfaction and reconciliation to the recent defeats of Jose Lopez and to an extent Miguel Cotto who both were defeated by Filipino boxers.

Footwork:

Vazquez with an orthodox stance will stalk Marvin step by step in the ring, he will take his time to make his way in with his leading left jab. He uses his footwork to calculate his striking opportunity. However, Vazquez has hit the canvas several times when he slipped and got into a tangled brawl, tripping and diving into the canvas. It's never a good thing for a boxer to be off balance.

Sonsona uses every square footage in the ring to his advantage, he can cover the whole ring very quickly and at his will. Marvin uses his footwork and positioning to strike at any given time whether he has to force his way in or if there is an opening. He loves to take a chance and lunge in from a distance and can maneuver his way inside. However, he leaves himself open and not compact when lunging in.

Advantage: A Slight advantage Vazquez with his footwork precision. Marvin will use every square inch of the ring very quickly on the offense or defense.

Defense:

Vazquez has great defense, he is able to keep both his hands up almost all of the time and rarely keeps his hands down. He also has good head movement and reflexes to dodge incoming shots. He does get hit at times but is usually shakes it off very quickly.

This is the first area where Sonsona needs to improve. Once he gets hit and gets hurt, his guard goes down but he will back off into a defensive peddle. His head movement is good on the first half of the fight but drops off into the middle and later rounds which he leaves himself open and vulnerable. Moving up to 122 lbs, he will get hit harder than ever before.

Advantage: Hands down Vazquez, his defence is what makes boxers into Champions. He keeps himself compact.

Coaching and Corner:

Vazquez has his father, a 3 time world champion guiding him with his training and in the corner. This is clearly a benefit in every way and Team Sonsona understands their edge. The bond with his father/coach will give him his undivided attention and push him to the limit with his training and conditioning.

Sonsona is coached by no other than Nonito Donaire Sr. who has been instrumental in several successful championship match ups. His experience speaks volumes with recent with successful world championship victories in world titles with his son Nonito Jr., Ana Julaton, Marvin and Johnriel Casimero. Marvin's lifelong coach Jhun Agrabio who also in his corner guiding Marvin's moves when it’s needed most.

Advantage: Even, both boxers have excellent and coaching and corner presence with championship experience on both sides.

Conditioning:

In Vazquez's previous bouts, I cannot remember a time where he was ever gasping for air. He's very focused inside and outside the ring. He does not endure training interruptions from traveling from Puerto Rico.

Sonsona trains as hard as any champion caliber boxer. Due to his multiple training locations from Cebu, Manila, Canada and San Leandro in different bouts, traveling often and long distances disrupts his training for a day or two. He needs to keep himself in tip top shape throughout the year.

Advantage: Vazquez with a more a focused training camp with less interruptions. He looks like he keeps himself in condition throughout the year.

Chin and Durability:

Vazquez Jr. has faced many tough Latino opponents that can be easily regarded as world class competition. In 17 pro fights, 5 of them has gone the distance. He had taken some good shots to the body and head and shook it off quickly due to his conditioning. He's able to reset quickly from getting hit and gets back on track.

Sonsona against Jose Carita Lopez proved that he can take punishment and shots to the body and head. He was hurt against Alejandro Hernandez where he also took a lot of punches and combos and managed to last 12 rounds although he was in absolutely bad shape the night before the fight according to Coach Nonito Donire Sr.

Advantage: Vazquez due to ring experience and tougher opponents faced. He can reset quickly while Sonsona is known for slowing down in the middle rounds to recover.

Ring Intensity and Aggression:

Vazquez is a vocal fighter and intimidates his opponent with his verbal aggression before and during the fight. He is also known to brawl inside the ring and also keep punching after the round has finished due to his intense character. He can easily force his opponent to lose control due to his brawling tactics where he's earned a win by disqualification when he was kicked. Expect Vazquez Jr. to be even more aggressive since he's fighting at home. The intensity and aggression is a psychological part of his game.

Sonsona talks very little in the ring and he is mild mannered boxer inside and outside the ring. He follows the rules of boxing like a textbook. He will need to break free from Vazquez when he tries to impose his ring tactics and intimidations to prevent any penalties. Marvin showed little aggression when he was hit with low blows during his match with Jose Lopez.

Advantage: Vazquez's ring aggression can cause his opponent to lose focus.

Last but not the least - Offense:

Vazquez offense is complemented with his timely footwork where he is precise with a leading left jab followed by his signature right power punch or dangerous powerful short hooks. He is a head hunter throws many power punches to the head. His punches are precise with an good connect percentage which is one of the reasons that he is highly ranked in the division. He exercises the sense of urgency when his opponent is hurt and comes in for the kill.

Sonsona will need to improve with his power punching connect ratio against Vazquez who is on target. Marvin is also a head hunter who loves to administer power shots to the head and temple as he demonstrated against Jose Lopez. However Marvin expedites a lot of wasted energy with many missed power punches. He has very lethal upper cuts from both hands that he will need to utilize against Vazquez Jr. Should Marvin improve his connect ratio or land a power punch, he has the ability to stun Vazquez Jr. Marvin will also keep jabbing with his left often to keep Vazquez away.

Advantage: Vazquez Jr. for his short hooks, power punches and higher connect percentage.

The winner of this match will be the successor to Juan Manuel Lopez and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. has the edge. Marvin Sonsona will need to make critical adjustments to his defence and punch connect ratios in order to score an upset with Vazquez Jr. in his home town.


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