Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Ex-champ Sonny Boy Jaro ends layoff with points win


MANILA, Philippines – Former flyweight champion Sonny Boy Jaro returned from 13 months of inactivity to score a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Marjun Pantilgan on Wednesday at Makati Cinema Square in Makati City, Philippines.

One scorecard had Jaro (43-13-5, 30 knockouts) of Silay City, Philippines winning by a score of 99-92, while the other two (96-94 and 97-93) suggested a more competitive fight than actually took place. With the victory, Jaro earned a minor 115-pound belt (the WBC’s international title).

Jaro, who shocked the boxing world in 2012 by stopping long-time champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam to win THE RING flyweight title, was the more confident fighter from the opening bell as Pantilgan (11-4, 10 KOs) kept his hands high and absorbed the heavy jabs and winging body shots thrown by Jaro, who is 12 years older than Pantilgan at 34.

Pantilgan had his best success in Round 5, landing several straight rights over the lowered left of Jaro. Jaro absorbed them and continued to box from the outside, using his experience and movement to control Pantilgan, and pounding him when he backed up to the ropes.

Jaro has now won nine straight – including two fights in Japan – since a three-fight skid between 2012-2013 after losing the title to Toshiyuki Igarashi in his first defense. He had bounced around the scales in this recent stretch, weighing as much as 128 pounds for a fight last year, but hopes returning to 115 pounds will earn him a ranking there and a chance to challenge WBC titleholder Roman Gonzalez or the WBO champ Naoya Inoue.

The show was promoted by Anson Tiu Co’s Shape Up Boxing Promotions though Jaro is still managed by Aljoe Jaro, who has been based in the United States for several months. When asked what would be next for Sonny Boy Jaro, Aljoe Jaro said simply: “I don’t know.”