Jason Sosa Retains WBA Super featherweight title over Stephen Smith!
By: Ken Hissner
Camden, NJ, resident Jason “Canito” Sosa, 20-1-4 (15) made his first title defense a successful one in Salle des Etoiles, in Monte Carlo, Monaco, Saturday night defeating his No. 7 contender the UK’s Stephen “Swifty” Smith, 24-3 (14), over 12 rounds.
It was a hard fought fight with Sosa dropping Smith within seconds of the second round with a left hook to the head. Smith survived but in the third round received a cut just under the right eye brow that bled the rest of the way from a Sosa flurry. Several times the ring physician was called into the ring to inspect the cut. This may have caused Smith to do too much holding throughout the fight.
Early in the fight Sosa was too strong for Smith winning five of the first six rounds. Smith came back to take rounds seven and eight with the ninth close. Sosa finished up like a champion taking the last three rounds.
“He executed everything we worked on. The referee warned him once but should have been more forceful. He’s only had 3 amateur fights. Every time he fights the UK fighter had several hundred fights. It was really a good performance on Jason’s part. We would like to unify by fighting IBF champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza, 22-0” of Puerto Rico. He barely got by Stephen Smith in April of this year,” said Rivas.
Scores of 116-111, 117-110 and 116-112 all for Sosa. In his corner was his trainer and manager Raul “Chino” Rivas assisted by Rashiem Jefferson. At ringside the UK’s Tony Bellew’s had it 8-4 in rounds with the first round even while Dave Caldwell had it 9-3 in rounds. This writer had it 10-2 in rounds.
“Sosa is one of the strongest 130s around if not THE strongest. With only 3 amateur fights he is still learning and has 100% faith in his trainer and in me. He landed some terrific body shots. Smith also landed some good punches and on one occasion he did buzz Sosa but only briefly. Smith also went to the body and was never intimidated but the difference in punching power was obvious. Again, I have to hand it to the WBA for sending 3 judges who were not in the least intimidated by the hundreds of Brit’s screaming every time Smith threw a punch, whether it landed or not. Sosa is the Rodney Dangerfield of boxing….still gets no respect. They keep writing how he got a gift draw with Walters, then trailed big before stopping Fortuna and he was just a 6/5 favorite over Smith. His last 3 fights have been in New York, China and France and the combined record of those 3 guys at fight time was 79-3-1 with 56 KO’s though he went 2-0-1,” said J Russell Peltz.
Smith lost in another title bid in April of this year losing to IBF champion Jose Pedroza at Foxwoods Resort in CT. He has held the British Super featherweight, and the WBC International Silver Super featherweight titles. For Sosa he hasn’t lost in his last seventeen fights which include’s three draws. Right next to Sosa afterwards was his friend and sparring partner Tevin “American Idol” Farmer, who is No. 5 in the WBC super featherweight rankings and Sosa had this to say about Farmer “We train together every day (Cherry Hill, NJ and both trained by Chino Rivas). I have learned a lot from him. I wouldn’t be champ today if it wasn’t for him,” said Sosa.
Afterwards Smith said “I have no excuses. I had a bad start and it cost me. I tried my best but thought I lost. I was forcing the fight after getting cut which is not my style,” said Smith.
Sosa said: “First and foremost I want to thank God. Without Him I wouldn’t be a world champion. I want to thank my trainer Raul rivas, Rashiem Jefferson, Tevin Farmer, Steven Ortiz and Anthony Burgin. “The reason I’m champion today is we put a hell of hard work in the gym. The game plan went the way we practiced in the gym. Every game plan comes out to perfection and that’s why I’m world champion today. (Interviewer: You are a real road warrior) Yes sir I get to tour the world like every world champion should do,” said Sosa. I like traveling the world going into their backyards and sometimes being an underdog. I would like to fight in my home country of Puerto Rico. I hope to fight 3 times next year,” said Sosa.