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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XXXIII: GERRY PEÑALOSA, THE WBC AND LINEAL SUPER FLYWEIGHT AND WBO BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




After his semi-retirement, Gerry Peñalosa returned to boxing two years later. He defeated Bangsaen Sithpraprom for the World Boxing Foundation super flyweight title on November 27, 2004 at the PAGCOR Grand Theater, Airport Casino Filipino, Parañaque City.

He defeated Samingkao Chutipol of Thailand by 2nd round TKO, Feliciano Dario Azuaga of Paraguay by UD, Tomas Rojas of Mexico by UD, Mauricio Martinez of Panama by 9th round TKO.

On March 17, 2007, he faced Daniel Ponce de León, the WBO and IBA super bantamweight champion at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. In the fight, Peñalosa showed his brilliant boxing skills and countered the busier KO artist De Leon. But the judges favored the Mexican for a unanimous decision.

On August 11, 2007, Peñalosa reduced in weight category and fought Jhonny González of Mexico for the WBO world bantamweight title at the Arco Arena, Sacramento, California. Peñalosa went down in weight and dethroned the Mexican fighter at the 7th round.

González was in control of the fight in the early rounds, when he used his longer reach to connect stinging jabs at the Filipino challenger. In the seventh round, a well-timed solid counter left hook to Gonzalez’s body caused him to fall on the floor and Peñalosa won his second world title in ten years.

He defended the title at the Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City, by stopping former WBO world bantamweight champion Chaiya Pothang a.k.a Ratanachai Sor Vorapin of Thailand in the eighth round on April 6, 2008. This was his second win over Sor Vorapin in as many fights.

On February 21, 2009, Peñalosa battled German Meraz of Mexico at the Cebu Coliseum, Cebu City, in a non-title bout. The Filipino boxer won the fight by a ten-round unanimous decision.

He later fought on April 25, 2009, in Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico against Puerto Rican boxing celebrity Juan Manuel López for the WBO world super bantamweight championship. It was dubbed "Champion versus Champion", Peñalosa being the bantamweight titlist and Lopez the super bantamweight belt holder.

At the onset, both fighters immediately went to action exchanging punches, with the taller and heftier López having the edge by targeting Peñalosa's head and body. In the middle rounds, Peñalosa began to gain the upper hand with his more solid blows.

Then López controlled the fight in the seventh and eighth rounds with Peñalosa keeping up his counter punching. In the ninth round, Peñalosa was outboxed by the Mexican champion prompting the referee to stop the fight and declare López the winner by technical knockout, becoming the only boxer to defeat the Peñalosa by knockout.

Peñalosa contemplated retiring after the loss. Then he was stripped of his WBO bantamweight title when he did not defend it within one year.

But he fought once more on February 13, 2010 against Eric Morel of Puerto Rico for the interim WBO bantamweight title at the Las Vegas Hilton in Las Vegas, Nevada. Gerry trained at the Wild Card Gym under coach Freddie Roach, together with then seven-division world champion Manny Pacquiao. Unfortunately, Peñalosa lost the fight by a controversial split decision.

In the 6th round a cut over Peñalosa's right eye. opened and later, another headbutt opened a gash over Peñalosa's left eye. With blood running from both injuries the "Fearless" fought true to his nickname as he continued his courageous offensive on the retreating Morel.

But the two judges were not impressed by Peñalosa as they scored the fight 115-113 and 116-112 for Morel, while the third judge had it 113-115 for Peñalosa. Several experts commented that the Filipino boxer should have prevailed over the Puerto Rican fighter.

Peñalosa fought one last time against Anan Saeauy a.k.a Yodsaenkeng Kietmangmee of Thailand on October 10, 2010 at the Zamboanga City Coliseum. Gerry won the bout by 4th round TKO.

Peñalosa finished his professional career with 65 total bouts including 55 wins, with 37 knockouts, 8 losses with 1 KO defeat, and 2 draws.

In his retirement, he became a boxing promoter and once trained IBF flyweight champion Nonito Donaire in 2008.

Top photo shows Gerry Peñalosa (left) with Senator Manny Pacquiao.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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