JONAS Sultan may not have the rep so far of some of the top boxers in the country, but he is a capable fighter and he showed it in his fight against Puerto Rican up-and-comer Carlos Caraballo, Sunday (Manila time), in New York.
Mr. Sultan, 29, claimed the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Intercontinental bantamweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Mr. Caraballo in their 10-round showdown at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden on Sunday (Manila time).
The Filipino bet, who was installed as an underdog entering the fight, knocked down his opponent four times throughout the course of the contest and wound up a 94-93 winner in all three judges’ scorecards.
It was Mr. Sultan’s third straight victory and second for the year after his knockdown win over American Sharone Carter in August.
For local boxing analyst Nissi Icasiano, more than keeping his winning streak going, the Caraballo win showed Mr. Sultan’s abilities as a solid fighter and potential to go places if provided the opportunities needed.
“Sultan was intended to be another pedestrian opponent for an up-and-coming boxer like Caraballo. But in the fight, Sultan insisted that he’s nobody’s footstool and flipped the script,” said Mr. Icasiano when asked by BusinessWorld for his thoughts post-fight.
The analyst highlighted how Mr. Sultan showed perseverance, stayed the course and remained go-getting even when Mr. Caraballo put up a tough resistance.
“The Filipino just wanted it so bad and worked hard to get the win,” Mr. Icasiano said.
The analyst, however, noted it remains to be seen if the win would open bigger opportunities for Mr. Sultan immediately just as he said the boxer’s handlers at MP Promotions should build on the gains its fighter achieved in his latest triumph.
“I just hope that MP Promotions can sustain the momentum and ride on it at the same time. It’s too early to say if he will get a title shot. He’s ranked No. 9 in the WBA (World Boxing Association), but the Intercontinental title that’s now in his possession came from WBO. He’s nowhere to be found yet in the WBO bantamweight rankings, but that win may break him in the WBO’s rankings,” Mr. Icasiano said.
Adding, “I would like to see Sultan in a 12-round fight first against an opponent who’s outside the Top 10 or Top 15 before taking on ranked fighters that will help him secure a world title shot.”
Mr. Sultan now sports an 18-5 record, 11 wins coming by way of knockout. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo