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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But ...

By Ed de la Vega, DDS

Tue, 18 Jul 2006

Las Vegas, Nevada - WBO Super bantamweight champion, Daniel Ponce de Leon on Saturday night successfully defended his crown against Sor Looknongyantoy of Thailand.

Sor was the same fighter he beat via a 12 round UD last October at the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona to win the vacant WBO title. The fight was the second main undercard in the PPV Mosley-Vargas -The Rematch held at the flush MGM Garden Area here in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ponce de Leon of Cuauhtemoc, Mexico improved his record to 29-1-0 (26 KO) while Sor Looknongyantoy now stands at 25-2-0

The expected see-saw battle between two gallant fighters proved to be a real short one. In fact, it took all of 52 seconds in the first round. The spectacular knock-out came so fast that we missed taking picture of the whole thing. We were at the middle of changing camera flash card when it happened. By the time we got the camera set, people were already crowding around the fallen Thai. We could no longer take a decent shot from our position 138 feet from ring center. The missed shot is a first class lesson to an amateur photographer like myself. Next time I will pay attention to the business of taking pictures instead of having conversations with other photo buffs or changing flash cards on the fly.

With the stunning victory of Ponce de Leon, could it be possible that a challenge from Rey Boom Boom Bautista loom in the near horizon? Maybe -- but only Sir ALA knows! Besides, Bautista and Ponce de Leon are both members of the De la Hoya group of boxers. Fitting them against each other may not be good business for the Golden Boy.

One thing for sure, if the de Leon-Bautista will go through, I am certain that Bautista will be better trained and conditioned than Looknongyantoy. The Thai fighter came to the weight in the day before the fight, 2 pounds overweight. He had to sweat out the two pounds within two hours to satisfy weight requirements. Not taking anything away from Ponce de Leon, but could that incident had anything to do with the very short fight?

I am privileged to have seen both Ponce de Leon and Bautista fight different opponents before. In fact I have seen both of them KO'd their last opponents in their last fights. Ponce de Leon KO'd Gerson Guerrerro at the Home Depot Center in Carson to keep his WBO title and Bautista KO's Bonilla at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But, from my humble perspective, the 19 year-old Bautista at this point of his career is still two or three more fights away with "world-class" opponents before he will be ready for Ponce de Leon. Too bad, Bautista caught a flu bug and was sick for a few weeks leading to the cancellation of his fight with Alejandro Felix Montiel of Mexico at the Araneta Coliseum a few weeks ago as an undercard in the Pacquiao-Larios fight. That bout would have counted as sufficient major tune up leading to a fight with Ponce de Leon say, a year from now.

The 26 year-old Ponce de Leon appears to have much more experiences and has had some good battles tucked in his belt. Bautista, on the other hand although a WBO Asia Pacific Champ with a clean slate and a good knock-out ratio against his opponents, has no experience against boxers rated better than Ponce de Leon's opponents. So, if things will push through -- better watch out Boom Boom because Ponce de Leon is on a roll.

This is not to say however, that Bautista can not score an upset if he meets Ponce de Leon towards the end of 2006. As he, and the other ALA boys intimated to me in our previous conversations sometime ago:- "When the bell rings, it's just him and me. He can knock me out and I can do the same to him. Ganyan lang sir ang boksing."

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