Mike Coppinger

Undercard results: Marvin Sonsona exacts revenge on Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.

NEW YORK — Marvin Sonsona defeated Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. via split decision in a sloppy, foul-filled rematch, but the fans were the real losers. 

The pair bored the once-raucous crowd to tears when it should have been pumping them up for the main event. 

However, Sonsona (19-1-1, 15 knockouts) exacted revenge, and should move on to bigger fights in the featherweight division. 

One judge scored the fight for Vazquez, 96-92, with the other two judges both seeing it for Sonsona the other way.

In the first bout, which took place in 2010, Vazquez (23-4-1, 19 KOs) scored a fourth-round KO, but this bout didn't have that kind of action or clear resolution.

Sonsona and Vazquez tangled and wrestled throughout the bout, jockey for position on the inside and butting heads along the way. 

Sonsona dropped Vazquez with a vicious body shot in Round 1, but wasn't able to capitalize. 

In Round 5, Vazquez got the point back when Sonsona was penalized for hitting him in the back of the head on the break. 

When it was all said and done, though, judges favored Sonsona's aggressiveness and cleaner punching. 

***

Javier Maciel scored one for the Argentine contingent on hand, defeating Puerto Rico's Jorge Melendez via 10-round majority decision. 

One judge scored the bout even, overruled by tallies of 96-92 and 97-91.

Maciel (29-3, 20 KOs) rocked Melendez with the harder shots throughout the fight, consisently taking advantage of his stationary stance. 

The pivotal round of the contest was the fifth, a 10-7 frame for Maciel. Melendez (28-4-1, 26 KOs) was dropped in the stanza and also deducted a point for a low blow.

Maciel took the fight on three weeks' notice. 

***

Andy Lee took his career off life support and authored a surefire Knockout of the Year candidate in one fell swoop.

After clearing losing the first four rounds and even hitting the canvas, all it took was one punch to change Lee's fortunes. 

Lee (33-2, 23 KOs) was eating punishment from John Jackson in Round 5 when he backtracked, reset and unloaded a crushing right hook that sent Jackson crashing to the canvas in a heap, rendered unconscious. 

The referee immediately waved off the contest as Lee erupted in jubilation. Time of the stoppage was 1:07.

In Round 1, Jackson dropped Lee with a big right hand, sending Lee’s head to the bottom rope. Jackson (18-2, 15 KOs) seemed well on his way to winning when the fight-ending punch connected. His father is all-time puncher Julian Jackson, who said after the fight: "My son will be back soon and he will be a world champion."

Lee, a career middleweight, was fighting at 154 for the first time as a pro. Jackson's other pro loss came at the hands of Willie Nelson.

***

Budding lightweight star Felix Verdejo was impressive yet again as he climbs ever closer to the big time.

Fighting on the undercard of countryman Miguel Cotto's bout against Sergio Martinez from Madison Square Garden, Verdejo whetted the fans' appetite with a scintillating first-round stoppage of Engelberto Valenzuela. 

Verdejo (13-0, 10 KOs) landed a power combination that sent his foe sprawling into the ropes, then followed up, dropping him to the canvas. Moments later, Valenzuela was taking severe punishment and the referee saved him, halting the contest at 1:17 of Round 1.

Verdejo, 21, is promoted by Top Rank and has had higlights of many of his fights shown on HBO. He seems like a can't miss star.

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