MANILA, Philippines - Marvin Sonsona is looking marvelous once more.
The Filipino boxer, who became world champion at age 19 and just months after said he wanted to quit boxing, yesterday scored a sensational knockout win at the Cotain Arena in Macau.
Sonsona, the former WBO super flyweight champion, stopped former world champion Akifumi Shimoda of Japan in the third round of their scheduled 12 rounder.
It was for the vacant WBO International featherweight crown.
Sonsona started slow as Shimoda threw more punches in the first two rounds. But in the third, the Filipino connected with a short left uppercut that stunned everybody.
Shimoda, according to www.philboxing.com, was knocked out cold. The referee, Filipino Danrex Tapdasan, did not bother to count.
The end came at the 1:17 mark of the third round.
Sonsonaâ€™s arms were raised and he smiled like he just regained the world title. It was his fourth straight win, the last three inside the distance.
Sonsona, who hails from General Santos City, the same place that produced Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, moved up to 18-1-1 with 15 knockouts. His latest victim dropped to 24-4-2.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum was so pleased with Sonsonaâ€™s performance.
Arum, also speaking to www.philboxing.com, described it as a â€œtremendousâ€ win.
â€œWhat a left uppercut. It traveled such a short distance with such power. It was an incredible punch,â€ added the legendary promoter.
Sonsona won the world title with a decision against Jose Lopez in Sept. 4, 2009. But being a world champion got into his head, and suddenly he dropped his guard.
Barely two months and 17 months after, he vacated the title when he failed to make weight for his first title defense against Alejandro Hernandez in Ontario, Canada.
Sonsona won the fight on points but left the Casino Rama a disgraced champion.
In February 2010, he returned to the ring, desperate to regain lost track. But he wasnâ€™t the same fighter, and was knocked out by Wilfredo Vasquez Jr in the fourth round of their battle for the WBO super-bantamweight title.
Sonsona was devastated, and his handlers almost gave up on him.
It took him 20 months to realize that he wanted to continue boxing. He plunged back into action on Oct. 15, 2011 in Cebu City and outpointed Carlos Joan Gaspar Jacobo of Mexico.
The victory gave Sonsona some momentum. He knocked out Carlos Fulgencio of the Dominican Republic at the Hoops Dome in Cebu in March 2012, and forced Japan-based Filipino Jason Egera into submission last September.
Sonsona is hungry and eager to become world champion once more. He earned a spot in yesterdayâ€™s Zou Shiming show in Macau.
He did not disappoint.
Jerwin Ancajas, also of the Philippines, stopped Thailandâ€™s Inthanon Sithchamuang in their super flyweight clash while Harmonito dela Torre knocked out Yakobus Heluka of Indonesia in the first round of a super-featherweight contest.