<
>

Javier Fortuna to make defense of title vs. Jason Sosa in China

Junior lightweight world titleholder Javier Fortuna will make his second defense when he faces Jason Sosa, and they will both travel a long way for the fight.

Fortuna, of the Dominican Republic, and Sosa, of Camden, New Jersey, will meet June 24 at the 18,000-seat Beijing Capital Gym in Beijing, China, promoter Sampson Lewkowicz announced Monday.

The fight was formally announced at a news conference Monday in Beijing as the first in a series of four high-profile events per year that Lewkowicz and Chinese co-promoter Max Power Promotions are planning to put on.

"I am happy to be helping to put on this event in the beautiful country of China and looking forward to a long and prosperous co-promotional partnership with Mr. Min Du Modoson and Mr. Liu Gang of MPP," Lewkowicz said. "We have plans to feature many of the world's best fighters in terrific matchups like this one."

Fortuna (29-0-1, 21 KOs), a speedy southpaw, won a vacant secondary 130-pound title by unanimous decision against Bryan Vasquez last May at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He followed with a successful first defense when he knocked out Carlos Ivan Velasquez in the 10th round in September at the Palms Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.

"I am honored to be fighting in China," said Fortuna, 26. "[Sosa] is a strong fighter, and he is always thinking in there. Nevertheless, I feel that I'm more talented and have more ability. I also have the stronger punching power.

"I have been waiting for this opportunity. I am looking forward to this fight for my team and my country. I've fought punchers before, and I box them until their power starts to dissipate, and then I rumble with them."

Sosa (18-1-4, 14 KOs), 28, scored 13 consecutive knockouts until that streak ended in his last fight in December, when he fought to a draw with undefeated former featherweight titlist Nicholas Walters, who moved up in weight for the fight. Most thought Walters won comfortably.

"It's a great opportunity," Sosa said. "This is what every fighter dreams of, to fight for a world title. It depends on what kind of fight Fortuna wants. I'll be in there fighting smart and just see what kind of fight he wants to bring. We can go to war, or we can box. It's up to him.

"He's a little aggressive, a little wild. Just another guy. I'm not really doing anything different training for him. Everything I'm doing is working, so I don't fix anything that's not broken. "I'm excited and nervous to fight in China. It's my first time out of the country for me. I can't wait to go there and I know it'll be a beautiful experience."

Said Hall of Famer Russell Peltz, Sosa's promoter: "It's going to be a great fight, and Sosa is looking forward to winning the world title. Sosa just held his own and fought to a draw with one of the top junior lightweights in the world, Nicholas Walters, and it boosted his confidence level even higher.

"Sosa also has great sparring with another very good left-hander, Tevin Farmer. They're stablemates. Tevin is the perfect imitation, size wise, not style wise, of Fortuna."