In the biggest bout of his young career, Jonas Sultan proved that he belonged.
Sultan showed grit and determination, dealing Puerto Rican Carlos Caraballo his first loss in a unanimous decision (94-93×3) win to win the vacant World Boxing Organization Intercontinental Bantamweight title, Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Hulu Theater of the Madison Square Garden in New York City.
And the bout itself was an instant classic.
“This is boxing, this is a war,” said Sultan, who raised his slate to 18-5 with 11 knockouts.
“And I came to win tonight.”
Caraballo, who had been unbeaten in his first 14 fights, was stunned by Sultan in the second round after a bevy of shots capped by an uppercut floored him.
Sensing blood, Sultan again dropped Caraballo in the next round. Caraballo though was able to recover and even give Sultan a scare.
“Caraballo is a tough man, but I wanted this one,” said Sultan.
After absorbing punishment in the fourth and fifth rounds, Sultan found wind, snicking a counter right that once again knocked down Caraballo.
A combination left hook in the ninth round was followed by a stinging jab and uppercut that resulted in Sultan’s fourth knockdown of the bout and, in the end, proved pivotal in the razor-close affair.
Sultan landed 85-of-302 punches while Caraballo got 95 of his 213 attempts to connect.