Vazquez, Sonsona to fight June 7
Former world titleholders Wilfredo Vazquez and Martin Sonsona will meet in a junior featherweight rematch, one of three fights announced Monday that will serve as the televised undercard of the main event between middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and former three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto, who meet on June 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Cotto Promotions, Lou DiBella and Sampson Lewkowicz, who are co-promoting the card along with Top Rank, announced the 10-round bouts for the HBO PPV broadcast.
Besides Vazquez-Sonsona, which is the co-feature, former junior middleweight titlist Yuri Foreman will face Jorge Melendez and Andy Lee will face John Jackson, the son of former two-division titleholder Julian Jackson, in a junior middleweight fight.
"I am thrilled to have Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and Jorge Melendez in big fights on my pay-per-view undercard," said Cotto, whose company promotes Vazquez and Melendez, who also are from Puerto Rico. "They are two very talented fighters from my stable, and I wanted to open opportunities of massive exposure and good fights to further their careers. The fans will love it."
Vazquez knocked out the Philippines' Sonsona in the fourth round to win a vacant junior featherweight world title in 2010. Vazquez (23-3-1, 19 KOs), 29, is just 3-3 in his last six fights, losing his title by 12th-round knockout in an upset to Jorge Arce in 2011 to begin the slide.
But he is coming off a 12-round decision win against previously unbeaten Guillermo Avila in September. Sonsona (18-1-1, 15 KOs), 23, a former junior bantamweight titleholder, has not lost since the Vazquez fight, although he has fought only four times, most recently an impressive third-round destruction of former junior featherweight titlist Akifumi Shimoda in February in Macau, China.
The 25-year-old Melendez (28-3-1, 26 KOs) has won two fights in a row, most recently a 10-round decision against journeyman Richard Gutierrez on March 22. Foreman (32-2, 9 KOs), 33, of Brooklyn, New York, by way of Belarus, won a junior middleweight world title by outpointing Daniel Santos in 2009 but lost in his first defense in June 2010, when Cotto stopped him in the ninth round at Yankee Stadium. Foreman also lost his next fight and then retired for nearly two years. He returned in 2013 and has won four fights in a row against low-level opposition.
"Yuri is currently on a four-fight win streak and he is looking to show that he is still one of the elite 154-pound fighters in the world," DiBella said. "This is an opportunity to not only fight in his hometown but also on the biggest stage possible, and prove to the world that he is once again ready for a world title opportunity."
Lee (32-2, 22 KOs), 29, of Ireland, is a longtime middleweight contender, who has won four fights in a row since suffering a seventh-round knockout loss challenging then-middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for the belt in June 2012. Lee is moving down in weight to face Jackson.
"At 154, Andy Lee is going to be more dangerous than ever," DiBella said. "John Jackson is a very tough and talented fighter, coming from a great family pedigree. That being said, I think that Andy Lee is going to shine in this fight and show the world that he is a true force in the junior middleweight division. I expect myself and Sampson to be enjoying a great victory together with Sergio in the main event, but I am very confident that he will be licking his wounds after Andy defeats Jackson.
Jackson (18-1, 15 KOs), 25, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has won five fights in a row since his only defeat, a 10-round decision to Willie Nelson in September 2012.
"I am so happy to bring to the historic Cotto-Martinez undercard two of my best prospects in very competitive and dangerous fights -- the son of the legendary Julian Jackson, John Jackson, and 'Marvelous' Marvin Sonsona," Lewkowicz said.