|Best of the Little Men Settle up Light Fly Division in 2009!
By Ken Hissner, DoghouseBoxing (Dec 29, 2008)
In talking with a friend of mine recently, Robert Coster, who has been involved in boxing for over 30 years as boxing agent, boxing writer, matchmaker, TV commentator, boxing agent, and involved in the promotion of two world title fights (Stecca-Ramos, Spadafora-Sosa), he questioned why the “little guys” of boxing do not get the same exposure as the “bigger” fighters. He was referring to one of the hottest divisions in boxing, the junior flyweights, at 108 pounds, that are being revived for the first time since the retirement of the great Ricardo Lopez 51-0-1 (38) in 2001.
Coster himself does PR work for the current WBC champion Edgar Sosa 34-5 (18) of Mexico City, who is on a 20 fight win streak dating back to September of 2003 when he lost to current IBF champion Ulises “Archie” Solis 28-1 (28) by majority decision for the Mexican championship. The two had met earlier in May of 2001 with Solis taking a split decision. This certainly has the makings for a 3rd meeting with both titles on the line and both from Mexico.
Sosa started his win streak in December of 2003 winning the WBC CABOFE flyweight title in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The show’s promoter, Jacques Deschamps, Jr., is now the manager of Sosa and also co-promoter of WBA super bantamweight champion Ricardo Cordoba of Panama. With Deschamp’s guidance Sosa would win the world WBC light flyweight title in July of 2007 in San Antonio over Brian Viloria (19-1), who was also a former Olympian for team USA in 2000. Sosa has since had 7 successful defenses, with 6 in his homeland of Mexico and 1 in Las Vegas. The 29 year old Sosa’s most recent defense was a stoppage of his #1 contender Juanito Rubillar (46-11-7). Sosa was named honorable mention Boxer of the Year by the WBC. Cesar Seda, Jr. 15-0 (11) of Puerto Rico is the #2 contender, and has never fought outside of PR.
Solis, the IBF champion, lost his only bout in his first bid for the WBO title in July of 2004 to Nelson Dieppa (20-1-2) by majority decision. Three fights later he would travel to New York City to defeat the American Will Grigsby (18-3-1) in January of 1975. He has made 8 successful defenses including a draw with Omar Salado (15-0-2). Salado would move up to flyweight following this bout. Solis is 27 and from Guadalajara, Mexico. His top contender is Juan Carlos Reveco 19-1 (10) of Argentina, but he will be defending against Viloria on March 15th in Manila.
Ivan Calderon 32-0 (6) of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is the WBO light flyweight champion and a southpaw who represented his country in the 2000 Olympics. He has had 13 fights in America and 1 in Colombia. He won the minimumweight title in May of 2004 and had 9 successful defenses including a split decision in his final defense. He won the light fly title in August of 2007 after coming off the floor to beat Hugo Cazares (25-3-1) by split decision. He defeated Dieppa in April of this year, whom is the only boxer to have defeated Solis. His last fight and 3rd defense was in August in a rematch with Cazares whom he defeated by technical decision in 7 after suffering a severe lacerated forehead. His #1 contender is former WBC champ Viloria, now 24-2 (14).
Brahim Asloum 23-2 (9) is the WBA light flyweight champion, from Bourgoin Jaillieu, France. He was the Gold medalist in the 2000 Olympics having defeated Viloria in the 2nd round. After failing in attempts at the WBA and WBO flyweight titles, Asloum dropped down to light fly to defeat Juan Carlos Reveco in his last fight. As noted earlier, Reveco is the top IBF and WBA contender now. The WBA interim champion is Cesar Canchila 27-1 (21) of Columbia who won that title in July over Giovanni Segura, now (19-1-1). Canchila may be the 29 year old Asloum’s first defense. He has only fought outside of France once. The chances of him coming to Mexico or America are probably slim.
Adding another to the mix is 21 year old knockout artist Roman Gonzalez 22-0 (20) the current WBA strawweight champion from Managua, Nicaragua. He won the title in September stopping Yutaka Niida (23-1-3) in Kanagawa, Japan. This was only the second time Gonzalez fought below light flyweight.
Since only one of the current champions is scheduled to fight, there must be negotiations in the works for a unification bout. Sosa and Calderon may be the first to fight in a unification bout. Solis wouldn’t be far behind. Even though both are WBA champions its doubtful Asloum would defend against Gonzalez, unless Gonzalez would beat Canchila. There would probably be more of a chance for Gonzales to fight Solis. Since Gonzalez has fought outside of Nicaragua 3 times, all in Japan, he might not mind going to Mexico or America. Anyway you look at it there will be fireworks in 2009 in the biggest little division in boxing among the light flyweights!
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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