Huge Upset in Beijing – Jason Sosa travelled a long way from his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, crossing 12 time zones in route to a huge upset of Javier Fortuna in Beijing, China, on Friday, June 24. The gritty Sosa, who was knocked down in round five and again in round six, stayed the course and TKOed the previously undefeated Fortuna (29-0-1 going in) in the 11th stanza to wrest away Fortuna’s WBA 130-pound title. Fortuna was on his feet when the bout was stopped, but he was on shaky legs after going down face first from a left hook, the final blow in a barrage of punches.
Photo: Venezuela’s Nehomar Cermeño TKO stopped Jun Qiu Xiaoin the 12th and final round of their 122 pound WBA world title fight.
Huge Upset in Beijing
The 28-year-old Sosa, born in New Jersey of Puerto Rican descent, arrived in China with a record of 18-1-4. That ledger masked the fact that he was a late bloomer. His lone defeat and three of his four draws came in his first eight professional fights. A skein of 13 straight knockouts bumped him into a bout with Nicholas Waters last December. He didn’t win that fight, but upset the odds by holding the undefeated Waters to a draw.
Fortuna, a U.S. based fighter from the Dominican Republic, was making the second defense of the title he won with a unanimous decision over Bryan Vasquez in Brooklyn. A pro since the age of 17, the 26-year-old Fortuna, a father of three nicknamed El Abajon (The Bumblebee) was in line for some rich paydays in what has become a very strong weight class. Now it’s back to the drawing board.
The 12-round co-main for the vacant WBA World super bantamweight title ended on an unhappy note for the locals when Nehomar Cermeno stopped Jun Qui Xiao in the final round. This too was an upset. The 25-year old Xiao entered the contest riding a 12-fight winning streak. The losses that marred his 20-2 ledger came early in his career at the hands of Jonathan Baat. At age 36, Cermeno was thought to be over the hill. But the third time was charm for the Panama-based Cermeno who had twice come up shy in bouts sanctioned for a world bantamweight title.
Cermeno was widely ahead on the scorecards when the match was stopped. He wins the title vacated by Carl Frampton who moved up in weight to challenge Leo Santa Cruz.
In another bout of note, China’s Can Xu outpointed Australia’s Corey McConnell in a 12-round super featherweight contest. It was almost a given that this fight would go the full distance. Xu, now 9-2, and McConnell, 15-2-1, have scored only two stoppages between them, both by the Australian. Xu wins a minor regional belt.
The event at the 17,500-seat National Gym was co-promoted by the Chinese promotional company Max Power Promotions in association with Uruguayan-American promoter Sampson Lewkowicz. An associate of the ubiquitous Al Haymon, Lewkowicz has been involved with Javier Fortuna from the very onset of Fortuna’s pro career. The main bouts were aired on television in China.
Huge Upset in Beijing