Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |



Jason Sosa pre-Walters: ‘I can get inside that reach and do damage’

Fighters Network
Jason Sosa tees off on Isaac Suarez in December 2012; it was Sosa's 11th fight as a pro and brought his record to 7-1-3. Since then he has scored 11 straight knockouts. (Photo by Ray Bailey)

Jason Sosa tees off on Isaac Suarez in December 2012; it was only Sosa’s 11th fight and brought his record to 7-1-3. Since then he has scored 11 straight knockouts. (Photo by Ray Bailey)

It’s not unusual for Jason Sosa to be spontaneous. Take boxing, for example. The 27-year-old junior lightweight from Camden, N.J., just outside of Philadelphia, was lying on his sofa one Saturday afternoon seven years ago when the thought hit him. He got up and just decided to go to the Figueroa Boxing Gym. The following Monday, he put on sparring gloves for the first time.

That’s how he got into boxing. There were no familial ties, no mentors urging him to use boxing as a way out, just him deciding one day to literally get up and change his life.

It’s that kind of unpredictability that may make Sosa (18-1-3, 14 knockouts) a viable threat when he meets THE RING’s No. 1-rated featherweight, Nicholas Walters (26-0, 21 KOs), this Saturday night at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino, in Verona, N.Y., a fight which will be broadcast on HBO.

“I like to follow my own path and what I do in life, I really do go by that,” said Sosa, 27, who has stopped his last 13 opponents. “The world will see a new beast at 130 on December 19. I want the world to know who Jason Sosa is.

“I know Walters is a good fighter, but he makes a lot of mistakes. He seems like a nice person. But this Saturday he’s going to try to knock my head off, like I’m going to try to knock his head off.”

Sosa heard about the opportunity to fight Walters immediately after he stopped Jorge Pazos in six rounds, back in October 2014 in Philadelphia.

“I almost shed tears when I heard I would be fighting him, because I worked so hard to be in this position,” Sosa said. “I want to embrace every moment. I almost did cry when I heard, I almost did. This fight for me is life-changing. This is my title fight, that’s the way I’m looking at it, even though I know there’s no title in it. It’s on HBO. It’s going be on in front of thousands of people and it’s my time to show everyone who I am.”

Not that long ago, Sosa was working six days a week delivering pizza. He had a few scraps here and there in the streets, where the confidence in his fists began. But he had no formal training in the sport, and until the age of 20, no inkling to try.

Long hours driving at breakneck speed through traffic so customers would get their pizza hot grew tedious. For a time, he was willing to live with the little compromises, little ways of telling himself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly maybe something else can happen.

But the banality – that everydayness, trudging through snow, rain, getting stiffed by ignorant patrons – began weighing on Sosa’s nerves.

Something in his life had to change.

“It was like something pushed me to box, like someone pushed me saying, ‘Go, go, go,’ and that was it,” Sosa recalled. “There was no planning involved. I remember I didn’t even speak to anyone about boxing before. I just decided one day to go to the gym. It’s one of the weirdest things that ever happened to me. I can’t really explain it. And now I’m fighting on HBO.”

Sosa didn’t exactly walk into the gym thinking he was going to one day fight on HBO. He suffered an early loss, stopped in the first round by someone named Treysean Wiggins at 140 pounds, in September 2010. Since then he’s been 15-0-2, with 13 KOs.

“I’m not a planner, and I think that’s helped inside and outside the ring,” Sosa said. “My camp has gone really well. I don’t plan too far ahead, so we’ll adjust during the fight. That’s a strength, I think. I’ll feel out how he’ll come out and we’ll go with how the fight will go from there. People see me as a puncher, and I am a puncher, but I do know how to box.

“The last two years I’ve shown the fans that I can do a lot of different things. I know I’ve stopped my last 13 opponents, and I can understand why people think that I’m nothing but just power. My weight has been good through camp. Walters is a few inches taller than me, and he does have a 73-inch reach. But I’m a little Mike Tyson. I hit someone they feel it. I can get inside that reach and do damage.”

This is his chance, and Sosa says there’s no way he’ll squander it. He’s waited too long, delivered too many pizzas and for once may be planning just beyond, dreaming of having his hand raised Saturday night.

“I’m not a planner, but that’s one idea that does bounce around in my head,” Sosa said. “We’ll see. I’ll make the world see who I am. I can say I’m planning on that.”