BOOM BOOM IS KO’D BUT PHILIPPINES WINS THE WORLD CUP, 5 - 1
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
12 Aug 2007
Emerging ring sensation Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista who was previously undefeated with a record of 23-0, 17 KO’s) was stopped dead in his tracks by fierce-looking Mexican warrior Daniel Ponce De Leon (32-1, 29 KO’s) who scored a brutal first round knockout but it hardly mattered as the Philippines had already clinched the $500,000 World Cup with four straight wins to kick-off an exciting, passionate showdown against Mexico at the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California.
The Filipinos sealed the deal with a blazing start behind the fists of fury of Diosdado Gabi, Michael Domingo, AJ “Bazooka” Banal and Z “The Dream” Gorres before 35 year old Gerry Penalosa pulled off the victory of his life with a crippling , one punch knockout in the seventh round to win the WBO bantamweight title against heavily favored champion Jhonny Gonzales.
Penalosa, a former WBC super flyweight champion was behind on the scorecards of all three judges after the lanky Gonzales used his height and reach advantage with rapid-fire combinations beginning in the third round. But Penalosa, coaxed by celebrated trainer to cut off the ring and work to the body ducked under a Gonzales combination and then unleashed a cracking left hook to the ribs using the full weight of his body behind the punch.
In what seemed like a slightly delayed reaction Gonzales went down grimacing in pain and had no chance of beating the count as an emotional Penalosa kissed the canvas in unbridled joy.
Roach had predicted in an overseas telephone conversation with Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today that he was not a betting man but would bet on Penalosa, a 4-t0-1 underdog, saying Penalosa would break the champion down with body shots and then knock him out.
After the fight Roach told us “it was a great fight and I am so happy for Gerry. He is my favorite guy.” Roach disclosed that WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon said he was “willing to go to the Philippines to give Penalosa a rematch.” Penalosa lost what the judges scorecards read as a lopsided unanimous decision although several boxing writers felt Penalosa landed the crisper and more accurate punches in what was a much closer fight against Ponce De Leon last April..
Roach echoed what Penalosa told Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today before he left for Los Angeles to train at Roach’s Wild Card Gym and that was he was determined to win a world title again and make one defense before his hometown fans before retiring.
Ponce De Leon launched a furious attack right from the start to force Bautista on the defensive. The 20 year old attempted to trade with the heavy-handed Mexican and was weakened by terrific body shots and then
nailed with a crushing right to the chin and as Bautista wobbled and crashed into the ropes it was clear, the end was near. The youngster gamely rose to his feet but a flurry of punches sent him down once again to end the Filipinos hopes of a sweep. The time tolled at 2:30 of the opening round.
Gerry Penalosa raises his hands in victory after knocking out Jhonny Gonzales of Mexico to snatch the WBO bantamweight crown.
Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista tries to keep his balance after getting up from the canvas.
Gorres hits Ortiz with a right.
AJ Banal sends Cardenas to the canvas to win by knockout.
Michael Domingo throws a right in route to a unanimous decision win.
Diosdado Gabi outpoints Beranza.
Noted boxing writer Sammy Rozenberg of boxingscene.com reported that Bautista who was hailed as the next big star of the Philippines after Manny Pacquiao, is “young enough to make the proper adjustments to be a very successful fighter. He simply got caught by a big punch, hopefully he can mentally overcome the loss.”
Roach said the fight plan was to try and outbox Ponce De Leon because he was “a bigger puncher and has a good chin too” but Bautista decided to engage the champion and quickly paid the price. As Roach said before the title fight, “ the guy who connects first and has the better chin will win” and that happened to be Ponce De Leon.
Filipino fight fans came out in full force waving Philippine flags and various banners and engaged a noisy Mexican crowd in a wild cheering frenzy. The Filipinos drew first blood when Gabi (30-3-1, 21 KO’s)
the former IBF flyweight challenger who was knocked out in the eighth round by Vic Darchinyan before Darchinyan himself lost the title in a spectacular fifth round KO to another Filipino, Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, scored an 82-70 shutout in an eight round junior bantamweight clash with Jose Angel Beranza (30-10-2, 25 KO’s).
Philippine bantamweight champion Michael Domingo (32-14-2, 12 KO’s)
the least favored among the Filipino boxers stunned undefeated Miguel “Mickey Mouse” Roman ( now 21-1-15 KO’s) in a six round bout, boxing beautifully to score the second shutout of the evening 60-54. “Bazooka” Banal, the undefeated 18 year old (now 14-0-1, 11 KO’s) who reminded WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel of Hector “Macho” Camacho in his youth, stopped Jorge Cardenas with a terrific right hook at 28 seconds of the third round and the referee ruled Cardenas unfit to continue after the Mexican twisted his ankle as he went down from a vicious punch.
Gorres (now 27-2-1, 15 KO’s) who had just recovered from laser surgery for a tiny tear in his retina, made up for the agony of being robbed of the WBO super flyweight title when he gave Fernando Montiel a boxing lesson in Cebu last February poured it all out against former WBC light flyweight champion Eric Ortiz (26-7-1, 17 KO’s) who resorted to roughhouse tactics against the sweet-punching southpaw in an IBF title eliminator. The referee stopped the fight on the advice of the ring doctor after Ortiz suffered a gash over his left eye from a series of deadly, unerringly accurate punches giving Gorres an eighth round TKO victory. The time was 2:15 and it saw Filipino fight fans who included the famous Aldeguer sisters as well as former PBA superstar Dondon Ampalayo erupt into cheers as the World Cup was coming home to the Philippines.
Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya is reportedly coming to the Philippines with the trophy which will be presented at a Malcanang ceremony to be graced by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, an avid fan and supporter of Filipino boxers.
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