The opportunity has knocked for former WBA super featherweight world champion Jason Sosa. After Carl Frampton suffered a freak injury at the fight hotel Monday — a concrete pillar fell and broke his left hand — Sosa’s 10-rounder versus Haskell Lydell Rhodes was elevated to the main event.
Sosa, middleweight knockout artist Edgar Berlanga (11-0, 11 first-round KOs), and the professional debut of two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez will headline a night of fights Saturday evening at the Liacouras Center (10 p.m. ET, ESPN+).
Two days before the fights, they stopped by the James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym for a “Back to School Giveaway,” where dozens of local children were given backpacks for the upcoming school year.
Earlier today, Top Rank fighters from the #SosaRhodes main event took part in an event where kids from the local community were provided free book bags before going back to school 🎒
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) August 8, 2019
This is what they had to say at the event.
“It’s a blessing to be the main event, but it sucks what happened to Frampton. Stuff can happen, and we gotta always be ready and prepare for everything that is thrown our way. I’m excited to headline in Philly. It’s been a long time.”
“It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. I know a lot of us always say, ‘you’re going to see a different fighter.’ I’ve been training hard. I’m hungry. I feel like I’ve restarted my motor and am ready to go again. I’m excited.”
“I’ve had a couple wins in a row, and after this fight, I’ll be ready to fight any of the world champions. I’ve been at that level before, and I know I can do it again.”
“I’ve been bumped up to the co-main event, which is a blessing. I’m going to go out there and give the fans the type of fight they want to see.”
“I grew up idolizing Felix Trinidad. My dad had a VHS copy of his fight with Fernando Vargas, and I watched it countless times. I’m from Brooklyn, but my Puerto Rican roots are important to me, and Trinidad continues to inspire me as a fighter.”
“I’m a knockout puncher, and it just so happens that nobody has made it out of the first round against me. I always train to go the distance, and I am always prepared for any type of fight.”
“It has been a long journey, but I am excited to finally be making my professional debut. Philadelphia is a great city with a lot of boxing history, and it’s an honor for me to begin my professional journey here.”
“I want to stay active, stay busy and continue to improve with the great team I have behind me.”
“I know the professional game is different from the amateurs, but I am confident I can make the necessary adjustments and become a world champion. I fought countless great fighters as an amateur, and I am ready to test myself against the best professionals.”