Jason Sosa – From a Diamond in the Rough to World Champion!
By: Ken Hissner
Several years ago this writer did an article on now WBA World Super Featherweight champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa, 19-1-4 (15), from Camden, NJ. He hasn’t lost a fight in 6 years and that was because he was ill advised though not at his best fighting weight to take on someone 2 weight classes higher than him.
On November 12th Sosa will defend his WBA super featherweight title against Stephon “Swifty” Smith, 24-2 (14), of Liverpool, UK, in Monte Carlo. Smith re-won the vacant WBC Silver title in his last fight after losing in an IBF World super featherweight the previous month. Sosa won the title in June in China stopping previously unbeaten Javier Fortuna in 11 rounds in Beijing, China. This will be his first title defense.
After his only loss Sosa won his next fight he fought a pair of draws with Philly’s Angel Ocasio, 6-0, in Philly at the National Guard Armory with both being majority draws. At Temple University’s McGonigle Hall he stopped Isaac Suarez, 7-1, and followed up in his next fight stopping CT’s own Joseph Perez, 10-1, at the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, CT. He would return to his home state of New Jersey in Atlantic City at Bally’s Event Center and stop Georgian Georgi Kevlishvili, 12-5.
In April of 2014 Sosa scored a knockout over Michael Brooks, 10-1-1, at Bally’s. In March of 2015 he stopped Costa Rica’s Bergman Aguilar, 12-1-1, at Philly’s 2300 Arena. In 2015 he won 5 fights and fought a draw with former WBA Super World featherweight champion Nicholas Walters, 26-0, of Jamaica, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. In those 5 previous wins he made his third appearance in Puerto Rico knocking out Jerry Belmontes, 19-7, who in his previous 26 fights had never been stopped.
The draw with Walters earned Sosa a WBA World super featherweight title fight against Javier Fortuna, 29-0-1, in Beijing, China, where he was taking away the belt by stoppage. Sosa has surprised people in the boxing world but delighted his many fans. Take it from this writer that Sosa is one of the nicest young men you would want to meet. His trainer and manager is Raul “Chino” Rivas and they have recently signed with promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank who partners with J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing who is an IBHOF promoter who went with Sosa and Rivas to China to win the title.
One of the things remarkable about Sosa is he only had 3 amateur fights. He trained out of Berlin, NJ, and when the gym moved to Cherry Hill, NJ, he moved with them. He is never short of sparring partners. Also training in the gym is No. 6 WBC Philly contender Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, 23-4-1, from Philly who is the NABF champion and fighting for Peltz December 2nd. Another Philly boxer is lightweight Anthony Burgin, 10-2. In the past he sparred with both.
Sampson Lewkowicz has a 3 fight option due to having the former champion Fortuna. Sosa is currently on a 16 fight winning streak.
KEN HISSNER: You have come a long way since our last interview. Have the last two fights increased your confidence immensely?
JASON SOSA: I believe it did by you can’t be too confident. I still have to keep proving myself and we just have more to learn.
KEN HISSNER: You have had 3 fights in Puerto Rico. Did the fans make you feel at home there?
JASON SOSA: Yes Puerto Rico always welcomes me home with open arms. I love Puerto Rico and they love me.
KEN HISSNER: You seem to have a close relationship with your manager and trainer “Chino” Rivas. How long has he trained you?
JASON SOSA: Chino and I have been together for 5 years now and he has taught me so much not only in the boxing world but as a father figure. Our relationship is like father and son.
KEN HISSNER: Have you seen your next opponent Stephen Smith?
JASON SOSA: Just a little for I leave that to the team so they can get me ready for Smith. I don’t do the studying on fighters. What are they going to teach me?
KEN HISSNER: Would you say the Walters fight has been your toughest in your career?
JASON SOSA: On the books it says so but I believe every fight just because of my amateur experience (3 fights) which I didn’t have so many.
KEN HISSNER: How has your sparring been going?
JASON SOSA: My preparation for Smith has been going great. My sparring partners have been great for they push me to the limit. I work with Marcelo, Julian and are the main guys that have been helping me.
KEN HISSNER: You have always been very approachable. I believe this has only added to your popularity. How different has it been since winning a world title?
JASON SOSA: It’s been the same only fighters are now listening to me now and looking up to me as their motivation. If this guy with only 3 amateur fights could do it so can I.
KEN HISSNER: Thank you for taking the time to answer questions. Is there anything you want to say to your many fans?
JASON SOSA: Thank you Ken.