The early frontrunner for Upset of the Year happened Friday in Thailand, where Sonny Boy Jaro knocked out Pongsaklek Wonjongkam to claim the WBC and Ring magazine flyweight titles.
Wonjongkam, who ranks No. 10 in SI.com’s pound-for-pound ratings and had lost just once in the past 15 years, was knocked down in the first, third and sixth rounds.
Jaro (34-10-5, 24 KOs), a former two-time junior flyweight title challenger, was regarded as a journeyman who had little chance to dethrone the most celebrated Thai fighter in decades. But the 34-year-old Wonjongkam (83-4-2, 44 KOs) had no answer for Jaro’s aggression and punching power.
Wonjongkam was making his fifth defense of the WBC flyweight title he won from Koki Komeda in March 2010. The veteran southpaw made 17 defenses of the WBC strap during his first stint as champion.
Jaro joins Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Brian Viloria, Donnie Nietes and Drian Francisco as current world champions from the Philippines.
Hours before the fight, Jaro’s manager Aljoe Jaro (no relation) told the Manila Standard that “our only chance is to win by a knockout.”
That’s exactly what happened.
– Bryan Armen Graham