Sonsona wins via split decision vs. Vazquez

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Marvin Sonsona of the Philippines puts Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico in a headlockduring the seventh round of their North American Boxing Federation featherweight title fight at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. AFP PHOTO

Marvin Sonsona of the Philippines puts Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico in a headlockduring the seventh round of their North American Boxing Federation featherweight title fight at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. AFP PHOTO

Marvin Sonsona of the Philippines beat former World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. of Puerto Rico via split decision for the North American Boxing Federation featherweight title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Madison Square Garden in New York City

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The judges scored 96-92 and 96-92 for Sonsona, and 96-92 for Vazquez.

Sonsona improved to 19-1-1 including 15 knockouts while Vazquez dropped to 23-4-1 on 19 knockouts.

Miguel Cotto also battered Sergio Martinez for nine rounds on Saturday, his technical knockout triumph giving him the World Boxing Council middleweight title to make him Puerto Rico’s first four-division champion.

Argentina’s Martinez didn’t answer the bell for the 10th round, and referee Michael Griffin officially called a halt six seconds into the 10th.

Cotto had set the tone early, sending the champion to the canvas three times in the first round before a sold-out crowd of 21,090 at Madison Square Garden.

The Puerto Rican improved to 39-4 with 32 wins inside the distance while southpaw Martinez fell to 51-3-2 with 28 knockouts.

All three judges had it scored 90-77 for Cotto through nine rounds. Cotto relentlessly pushed Martinez back throughout the bout, landing punches almost at will.

Cotto was credited with a fourth knockdown in round nine when Martinez’s glove grazed the canvas.

“I think we passed the audition,” Cotto’s trainer Freddie Roach said of Cotto’s devastating middleweight debut.

The 33-year-old added a middleweight title to belts earned at light welterweight, welterweight and light middleweight.

“I’m so proud of Miguel. He worked so hard in camp and deserved this historic victory. He was picture-perfect. He won every round. He didn’t get hit with nothing. His defense was beautiful,” Roach said.

WITH AFP

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