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Draw with Walters boosts Sosa's confidence ahead of title bout

Jason Sosa, right, scored a generous draw in his last fight against Nicholas Walters. Ed DIller for ESPN

When former featherweight titleholder Nicholas Walters moved up to junior lightweight in December and fought Jason Sosa to a 10-round majority draw, virtually everybody had Walters winning the fight.

According to the ringside media, HBO’s commentators and the Twitterverse, Walters won and did so rather handily. However, Sosa got the draw and it helped him land a world title opportunity, which he is savoring.

Sosa (18-1-4, 14 KOs), of Camden, New Jersey, will challenge secondary junior lightweight titleholder Javier Fortuna on Friday at Capital Gymnasium in Beijing, China on a card that also will include Venezuela’s Nehomar Cermeno (23-5-1, 13 KOs) and China’s Jun Qiu Xiao (20-2, 9 KOs) vying for a vacant secondary junior featherweight title.

“I learned boxing a draw with Nicholas Walters that I belong with the best 130-pounders in boxing,” said the 28-year-old Sosa, whose streak of 13 knockouts in a row ended against Walters. “It gave me an entirely new outlook on my future. It didn't really hit me until about three weeks ago that Walters is considered to be one of the best in the world at 126 or 130 pounds and I stood right in there with him. It helped boost my confidence.”

Fortuna (29-0-1, 21 KOs), a 26-year-old southpaw from the Dominican Republic, will be making his second defense. He’s a lot faster and slicker than Sosa, perhaps one of the reasons his handlers selected Sosa as the opponent. But don’t tell that to Sosa.

“Knowing that I can compete at the top level, I am looking forward to fighting Fortuna,” Sosa said. “I've had excellent sparring with [southpaw] Tevin Farmer and he's also at the top level. I'm flying 16 hours to China to box for the world title and I would go anywhere for the opportunity.”