Anson Wainwright

Q&A: Edgar Sosa

When Edgar Sosa turned pro in the spring of 2000, he did so without any real direction. The young junior flyweight didn’t have anyone to guide him and as a result he went 12-5 in his first 17 bouts, though the loses were all against respected practitioners. None the less, they were loses.

However, like several of his Mexican contemporises, Sosa learned from the setbacks. Sosa also met up with Jacques Deschamps, a respected individual who joined the team and helped plan things and map out his career. A little over three years later and a total of 14 fights on (all wins) Sosa met Brian Viloria for the vacant WBC 108-pound title as a rank outsider. Unperturbed he was able to box the fight of his life, winning a majority decision.

He then became the most active world champion in the game racking up 10 title defences in a little over 2 ½ years before surprisingly losing to Rodel Mayol, when he was stopped in the second round. The loss, however, was very dubious. Mayol landed the knockout blow with his head, breaking Sosa’s jaw.

After six months recuperating on the side lines healing he returned and made a run at the WBC flyweight title only to lose a credible decision to legendary Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in Thailand.

Since then he’s stayed active, picking up fringe WBC titles. Earlier this year he had his Juan Manuel Marquez moment avenging two early career loses by brutally stopping one time nemesis Ulises Solis in two rounds. He followed that by impressively turning back the challenge of fellow Mexican former champ Giovani Segura, posting a close but unanimous decision.

The 34-year-old veteran has fought 12 world champions in his 13-year career going, 49-7 with 29 stoppage wins, with 415 pro rounds under his belt. Currently, he’s ranked No. 1 in the WBC, while THE RING magazine ranks him at No. 4.

On Friday, Sosa deservedly gets a second crack at the WBC flyweight title against Japan’s Akira Yaegashi which will also present him with the opportunity to win THE RING magazine belt in what looks like another exiting contest.

Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on the Yaegashi fight?

ES – I am in tip-top shape. Yaegashi is an excellent boxer but I am completely confident that I am bringing the crown back to Mexico.I know that I have what is needed to be a boxing king again, now at flyweight.

AW – Back in May you outpointed Giovani Segura. What are your thoughts looking back on that fight?

ES – It was the kind of fight that I did expect with Segura, a complicated one against a fighter who hits hard and can take good punches, but I proved to be the more complete and experienced fighter who is at the ripe stage of his career. Segura hit me hard at times and I showed endurance one more time. Segura did hurt me to the body with straight punches and hooks but my very good physical condition allowed me to recover while going ahead and defeat him.

AW – Earlier this year you beat Ulises Solis, stopping him in two rounds. It was the third time you’d met him, the previous two fights had been very close and you’d lost razor thin decisions. Was this, for you guys, similar to Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez in that you both felt you needed the stoppage to make a statement?

ES – I think so. But opposite to the Pacquiao-Marquez fights, Solis and I were fighting each other 10 years later; but the unfinished business remained in my mind and when I faced Solis the last time and knocked him out I proved that I am the best of the two of us.

AW – Aside from the WBC there are some other champions at flyweight. What do you think of WBA and WBO champ Juan Estrada and IBF beltholder Moruhi Mthalane?

ES – To tell the truth, I do not know anything about Mthalane. Juan Estrada is a good young fighter who proved in Macau that he has the potential to be a long-reigning champion but I am interested in winning a second WBC belt at 112 pounds.

AW – Your manager is Jacques Deschamps. The two of you have a pretty unique story about how you met. Could you tell us about the relationship you two share?

ES – I met Jacques for the first time when I took a fight in Haiti following two losses against Isaac Bustos and Ulises Solis in Mexico as a late substitute in December 2003. I was against then-world rated Dominican flyweight Domingo Guillen, whom I stopped in six rounds after having been myself knocked down in the third round. Mr. Deschamps has supported me as nobody else had before, he believed in me – he totally changed my boxing career taking a different and positive way to succeed. He saw in me what no one had, that I had the potential to become a champion of the world, which I am very grateful for. He’s always been a non-stop supporter for me.

AW – You turned 34 in August. That’s considered old for a flyweight, yet you’ve gotten better with age. After a mediocre start to your pro career you have lost just twice in 10 years and one of those was highly controversial. What is your secret?

ES – I think that I have at least two more years left at a competitive level in boxing. My secret is being always in the gym, having learned to box more and not getting hit. Also, the good managing of my career.

AW – What goals do you still have in boxing?

ES – To first win the WBC flyweight championship, to make several defences as I did when I was the light-flyweight champion and, if time does allow me, to look for the super flyweight title in the future.

AW – Tell us about yourself away from boxing. What do you enjoy doing?

ES – Oh, the most important for me is enjoying being with my family, with my children… but also to be very active in the gym, watching the new boys (boxing up-and-comers) and thinking about possibly becoming a boxing manager of one of them. Looking for new talented boxers and taking care of my personal business outside boxing.

AW – In closing do you have a message for the flyweight division?

ES – Tell them that I am present and that I do not think of anything else but in conquering my second WBC world title. Thanks also to you, Anson, and for your time.



Photos / Luis Acosta-AFP, AFP

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