Eden Sonsona can rebuild against Evgeny Chuprakov in Russia
MANILA, Philippines – It’s hard to wrap one’s head around but Eden Sonsona is just 28 years old. A pro for almost 13 years, the Filipino southpaw has seemingly been around forever, showing great promise, at times, and, at others, appearing passive and disinterested with the sport.
Take for instance, his two-round destruction of previously unbeaten Adrian Estrella in May of 2015. Instead of following up on the biggest win of his career, Sonsona stayed out of the ring for 19 months.
Promoter Jim Claude Manangquil thinks he’s found the right balance needed to bring the most out of the veteran. He’s brought back Sonsona (36-6-2, 13 knockouts) with two fights – a sluggish majority decision win over journeyman Jaime Barcelona last December and a one-round TKO of Jovany Rota in February – and suddenly you realize he’s been unbeaten for the last 12 fights over six years.
“I think a new surrounding gave him new drive for boxing again,” says Manangquil, who runs the Sanman boxing stable out of General Santos City, also Sonsona’s hometown.
Sonsona will try to show how serious a threat he still is when he meets unbeaten Evgeny Chuprakov (17-0, 9 KOs) on May 5 at DIVS Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The card will reportedly also feature Shane Mosley (49-10-1, 41 KOs), now age 45, against Magomed Kurbanov (10-0, 8 KOs), plus former IBF featherweight champ Evgeny Gradovich and Shane Mosley Jr. in separate bouts.
Manangquil admits Sonsona didn’t automatically turn back on when he stepped into the Sanman Gym after a year-and-a-half without even training.
“When he came back, he was slow in the gym. During his first fight back, he showed so much rust,” said Manangquil of Sonsona, the cousin of former WBO junior bantamweight titlist Marvin Sonsona. “But next camp, for his second fight, we saw the world-class Eden Sonsona is back.”
Now working with trainers Roy Boquecosa and Romeo Desabille, Sonsona has a chance to bring his career to where many felt he should’ve been all along. Chuprakov is rated No. 11 by the IBF and No. 3 by the WBO at 130 pounds, and a win could get Sonsona back in position in a suddenly-hot junior lightweight division.
(Chuprakov) is a great fighter but I’m sure he hasn’t seen anything like Eden. Big fights will come when (Sonsona) wins this one,” says Manangquil.
“Eden said he has one thing on his mind: stopping the Russian.”
Sultan-Jaro rescheduled for May 7
The domestic challenge between junior bantamweights Jonas Sultan and former world flyweight champ Sonny Boy Jaro (43-13-5, 30 KOs) has been rescheduled for May 7 at the Angono Municipal Gymnasium in Angono, Rizal, Philippines, Jaro’s promoter Anson Tiu Co tells this reporter.
The fight was nixed two days before it was scheduled to headline at Makati Cinema Square on March 19 when Jaro suffered a “severe infection.” The ALA Boxing-promoted Sultan (12-3, 8 KOs) had already arrived in Manila from Cebu when he was informed that the bout had been canceled.
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING Magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.
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