world boxing

Zamboangueños hail Sultan’s win over Caraballo

Lynde Salgados
Zamboangueños hail Sultan’s win over Caraballo

UNDERDOG. Jonas Sultan defies the odds to deal Carlos Caraballo his first loss.

Top Rank Boxing

Boxer Jonas Sultan’s upset win in New York extends Zamboanga's winning streak in sports following the Olympic triumphs of Hidilyn Diaz and Eumir Marcial

Filipino Jonas Sultan withstood heavy blows and scored four knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision win over former unbeaten Puerto Rican Carlos Caraballo in a Madison Square Garden ring in New York City on Saturday, October 30 (Sunday, October 31, Manila time).

Proud Zamboangueños rejoiced as their boxing hero from Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, ended the 14-win streak of Caraballo, all by knockouts.

It’s a big celebration for the more than 100-strong Zamboangueños in Cagayan de Oro, who call their group “L Zamboangueño Circle” and jointly headed by Bebot Aliñabon, Chito Potenciano, and John Elago.

“We’re proud and honored of Sultan’s achievement of sustaining Zamboanga’s winning tradition in the field of sports since the triumphs of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz and amateur boxer Eumir Marcial in the Tokyo Olympics,” said group member Rene Michael Baños. 

Diaz won the country’s first ever gold in the Olympics, while Marcial – who just married his longtime girlfriend Princess Galarpe on October 28 in Batangas – brought home a bronze. 

Viendo hacia adelante (We’re looking forward) to Sultan’s next journey as world title contender again,” said Baños

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Seemed in trouble after a slip that was timed by Caraballo’s telling left to the side of his face halfway of the bantamweight 10-round dukeout, the 29-year-old Sultan buckled down to work as he struggled to regain his rhythm with his vision blurred and face in a mess, owing to a pair of cuts just below both his eyes.

In the penultimate ninth round, Sultan faked Caraballo with a right then unloaded a wicked left to the face for the fourth knockdown, enough to compensate his deficit in the judges’ scorecards.

“Jonas Sultan just showed to the world that he’s a first-class fighter,” said Olympian Roberto “Bobby” Jalnaiz, who is now based in the US.

“If not for his sturdy jaw, he would have ended as Caraballo’s 15th knockout victim. But he managed to flip the script.”

Before the fight, Sultan trained at the Wild Card gym alongside Filipino greats Mark Magsayo, Johnriel Casimero, and Jerwin Ancajas under the same Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions to ensure momentum after his seventh-round stoppage of American Sharone Carter in August.

“We’re so happy here in Zamboanga,” said Joey Florendo, who along with siblings Paulo and Patrick, left their mark in chess in the UAAP in Manila. 

“It was a thrilling bout that we could only pray Sultan would not fall from the heavy shots he received from Caraballo.” 

It was Sultan’s 18th win, including 11 knockouts, and 5 losses in a not so convincing resume.

But in 2017, Sultan bested World Boxing Organization bantamweight champion Casimero in a super flyweight eliminator, before he yielded a decision loss to International Boxing Federation super flyweight king Ancajas the following year.

On his Facebook Page, Sultan acknowledged his trainer Jorge Capetillo and the support provided him by MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons and son Brendan as well as benefactors Junnie Navarro and Mike Venezuela of Zamboanga Valientes MLV as vital in his comeback bid. –