Jason Sosa may be broke, but he’s not broken
There were too many head-in-his-hands moments for Jason Sosa to count. The 31-year-old former secondary beltholder made over $500,000 throughout his 29-fight, 10-year career.
And just like that, it was gone.
Yet, to hear Sosa today, there is no underlying angst in his voice. He harbors no bitterness over what he lost through dubious investments, and some unforeseen misfortune.
Sosa is about moving forward, which is what he will do Saturday night as the main event feature in a 10-round junior lightweight clash against Haskell Lydell Rhodes (27-3-1, 13 knockouts) on the Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
The Sosa-Rhodes bout takes the place of the original main event, which was supposed to be a 10-round fight between Carl Frampton and Emmanuel Dominguez that was scuttled on Monday when a hotel lobby pillar fell and broke Frampton’s left hand.
Sosa (22-3-4, 15 KOs) was busted in a different way—far more visceral than a swollen hand.
He admits that he’s lost everything.
But he still has his talent and he still has his close stable of friends and supporters around him.
“Yeah, it’s gone, everything, and I mean everything,” said Sosa, who took home a $350,000 purse for his gutsy, ninth-round stoppage setback to then-WBO super feather beltholder Vasiliy Lomachenko in April 2017. “In general, people were always there when everything was there, and when it was gone, they were gone. At the end of the day, I didn’t respect the money.
“Now that I’m down, nobody is around.”
Sosa says he lost most of his money investing with Mikey Perez, another fighter, in the Blazzin’ Hookah Bar & Grill in Puerto Rico. Then, Hurricane Irma hit in early September 2017, causing a $1 billion worth of damage to Puerto Rico, which the island is still recovering from today. One of the casualties was Sosa’s property.
At the time, Sosa was training for his fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa, who beat “El Canito” by a controversial majority decision.
Sosa soon received the double-whammy about his finances.
“It wasn’t just one individual, it was a group. But it was me, too, because I tried to invest and my investment didn’t go as planned, and I had no insurance on the bar,” Sosa said. “It was frustrating. I’m not going to lie. I was keeping track, but I saw money just going, and going, and going. There was no one down there in Puerto Rico to watch my investment.
“I’m a poor kid from Camden, New Jersey, who was like this little kid in a candy store, thinking you’re always going to make the kind of money I was making. I live the boxing lifestyle. I love doing what I do. I don’t party. I don’t do drugs. I didn’t lose the money involving anything to do with drugs. The funny thing is, I felt okay about the bar. It was going really well, then the hurricane hit and it wiped everything out.
“I gave that business my all. The hurricane happened and we didn’t get power for a while. I rented the building for a year and renovated it. We fixed it up really well. That was my first real business move. But, I know other successful people who went broke and they kept trying. I’ve been fortunate to have some powerful, positive friends behind me who have helped me.”
Sosa has a new woman in his life, Stacey Munyon, from New Jersey, who’s aided him in getting his finances together. She’s also pregnant with the couple’s first child. Stacey has forced Sosa tighten his inner circle.
Sosa also points out that he’s not living in a cardboard box in someone’s backyard. He hasn’t let bitterness beat him.
“No, no, no, it’s just that all of the money I made in boxing is gone,” Sosa stressed. “Thank God for Stacey. I met her in the gym, actually. None of this would have happened to me if Stacey was a part of my life then. I used to think about the past. But what would that get me? I couldn’t change anything. You have to keep moving forward.”
Rhodes, Sosa says, wants to take his place in the super featherweight pecking order.
“There’s nothing Rhodes has that I haven’t seen before,” Sosa said. “I’m happy and ready to go. I usually don’t worry about my opponent. I have to trust myself that I’m still doing it, performing at a very high level. All of these athletes who lost their money, most of them turn to drugs and their lives fall apart.
“My life hasn’t. It’s why I give myself credit for being a strong person. I feel how strong of a person I am. Everything that happened to me has made me more determined. I stopped thinking about the past. But I will be handing over the check to Stacey Saturday night.”