By Robert Coster
Mexican boxing aficionados love boxers from the smaller divisions and one of the most popular figures on today’s Mexican scene is undoubtably former WBC jr flyweight champion Edgar Sosa, currently the WBC #1 ranked contender in the flyweight division. Hailing from Mexico City, Sosa was twice elected Boxer of the Year of the Federal District (2007, 2009) and WBC President Jose Sulaiman has called Edgar “an example for Mexican youth” because of his spotless conduct and image.
Last week, it was anounced that Sosa (47-7, 28 KOs) will be facing fellow Mexican and former IBF world champion Ulises “Archie” Solis (35-2, 22 KOs) on March 9th, a clash that is already creating a buzz among Mexican fans. Solis and Sosa have twice met before, at the beginning of Edgar’s career, with Solis winning both times very close decisions. “I am not the same fighter,” says Edgar, who promises a different outcome. Fightnews caught up with the always smiling and congenial Sosa to talk about the course of his career and the upcoming showdown with Solis.
Edgar, you are scheduled to meet Ulises “Archie” Solis on March 3rd. Archie has been something of a nemesis to you, having two victories at the beginning of your career. You are the WBC #1 flyweight contender and assured of a title fight this year. Isn’t it a big risk to fight Solis at this juncture?
I have never backed down from a challenge, that’s what makes a champion. As you said, Archie won two very close decisions at the beginning of my career. Ten years after, our paths meet again. I am not the same fighter. We both respect each other and this fight will close the rivalry between us.
You are very popular with the fans and the press. There is a sort of endearement towards you. To what do you attribute that?
I am the underdog that was able to turn fate around. I’ve had my ups and downs. After being headbutted by Rodel Mayol in 2009, I had a fracture that almost destroyed my career. My fans were there for me. They identify with me. Before being a champion, I was a taxi driver in the streets of Mexico City struggling to feed my family but you never know what fate has in store for you.
How did this turnaround in your life come about?
Because I had to work so much, I couldn’t train properly. In 2003, I was just another boxer with a 12-5 record. I was called as a last-minute sub to fight Domingo Guillen, a ranked Dominican boxer, on a card in Haiti. He almost knocked me out in the 3rd round but I got up at the count of 9. I fought like I had never fought before and stopped him in the 6th round. And then, after the bout, the promoter of the card Jacques Deschamps came like an angel into my life. He offered to help me financially so I could train properly. I then started on a streak of 25 straight victories. And, as you know, I caused a stir when I beat Brian Viloria in 2007, winning the WBC jr flyweight title.
Who has your promotional contract right now?
I am signed up with Zanfer Promotions and I know I am in good hands. Also, Jacques Deschamps is there as my mentor. We have a father-son relationship.
Can you think of a particularly difficult moment in your career?
Apart from the difficult beginnings, it has to be the fight with Rodel Mayol. He headbutted me and fractured my cheekbone in the second round of our fight. I got up in a daze and I was in no shape to continue but the referee did not stop the fight and call it a no-contest as he should have. Mayol, a dirty fighter, almost destroyed my career. He put an end to a streak of 25 victories and I lost my title in my 11th defense. It still irritates me to see that in the books that fight goes down as a TKO loss for me. I hope to meet up with Mayol again one day and settle the score.
You are 33, Edgar. How long do you want to continue in the game?
I want to be a two-division champion. This will secure my place in Mexican boxing history. If I achieve that goal this year, then I may fight another year. Not everybody can be like Juan Manuel Marquez.
Jose Sulaiman has mentioned you as an example for Mexican youth. What do you have to say about that?
I am honored by that statement. But, yes, a champion has to lead a clean life. This idea that a boxer has to be involved in scandals, be an irresponsible father or fall into vice, that has to change. Too many great boxers have ended broke or in trouble with the law. On the contrary, someone like Juan Manuel (Marquez) is an example how a clean life can prolong your career. I want my kids to be proud of me. I want to be an example for the kids who want to box. I tell them ‘It is as important to be a champion outside the ring as it is inside.’