VERONA, N.Y. - When promoter Russell Peltz signed lightweight Anthony Burgin a couple years back, Chino Rivas urged Peltz to also take on Jason Sosa. Except Peltz wanted only Burgin. He knew little about Sosa and didn't mind keeping it that way.
"He said, 'Please do me a favor,' " Peltz said, remembering Rivas' plea for him to sign Sosa. "I said, 'Chino, I really don't want to sign Jason Sosa.' "
But Peltz took a chance on Sosa, trusting Rivas' judgment as his trainer, and the Camden native has knocked out 13 straight opponents since.
Sosa (18-1-3, 14 KOs) will look to continue that streak against undefeated Nicholas Walters (26-0, 21 KOs) at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona on Saturday night. The super-featherweight fight will air live on HBO as the co-headliner before heavyweights Luis Ortiz and Philadelphia native Bryant Jennings square off.
For Sosa, 27, it's a chance to punch toward the reputation of Jennings and other Philadelphia-area fighters.
"When you think about Philadelphia boxing right now you think about me and Danny [Garcia] really," Jennings said on Thursday. "But there are a few other good Philadelphia fighters on this card, and Jorge Sosa is a talented one."
Walters has never fought at 130 pounds, while Sosa has never fought lighter than 128. But Walters is a power puncher in the featherweight division, and said Thursday that a slight increase in weight can only make him stronger in that regard. With a combined 35 career knockouts between the two fighters, both sides expect the match to finish before the allocated 10 rounds.
The last time Sosa didn't win by knockout was a mixed-decision victory over Esteban Rodriguez in 2012. Since, he and Rivas have found a calculated formula that has seen Sosa win early and bide his time until the late rounds. And with every knockout, Sosa makes Peltz's risk that much more rewarding.
"With respect to all of the fighters out here today, I believe in my fighter," Rivas said Thursday. "And I know that Saturday the whole world will see who Jason Sosa is."