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July 5, 1986: Dodie Boy Peñalosa vs Hilario Zapata, First World Title Fight in PH Post EDSA


PhilBoxing.com



Dodie Boy Peñalosa (L) with son Dodie Boy Jr.

July 5, 1986, exactly thirty four years ago marked the return of world championship boxing in the Philippines when Diosdado Jumaran Peñalosa, Jr. simply known as Dodie Boy, challenged Panama's Hilario Zapata for his WBA flyweight championship at the ULTRA in Pasig City.

It was the first world boxing championship fight held in the country since 1982 when Rolando Navarette successfully defended his WBA suoer featherweight title by stopping South Korea's Choi Chung Il at the Araneta Colesium with then President Ferdinand Marcos in attendance.

It was also the first world title bout staged locally in the aftermath of the February 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that ousted the dictatorship and swept to power Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, widow of martyred Senator Benigno S Aquino, Jr.

Before the fight, some experts gave Peñalosa a fair chance to upset Zapata, albeit the fact that it was his flyweight debut, as Peñalosa recently stopped Amado Ursua who kayoed Zapata in a world light flyweight fight. Zapata also was stopped by South Korean Chang Jung Koo in recent past.

Unfortunately, Peñalosa failed in his bid to wrest the world title from Zapata who used his height and reach advantage in executing a smart defensive boxing that convinced the all-American judges to give him a unanimous decision victory after 12 rounds of fighting. One of the judges though turned a card that gave Zapata just a point winning margin.

Half dragging a polio stricken leg which he had since childhood, Peñalosa persistently tried to pin down the Panamanian and forced him to engage but Zapata was too elusive, wily and defense conscious.

The few times, Dodie Boy was able to corner Zapata, the latter would duck so low to avoid and dodge his punches. The referee warned Zapata a few times against it but didn't penalize which drew catcalls from the partisan crowd that filled the arena.

Some fans said the fight would have been closer and entertaining had the referee penalized Zapata for running and ducking which could have forced him to fight Dodie Boy mano a mano.

Peñalosa won the Philippine light flyweight title on November 26, 1982 by a 12th round stoppage against Romy Austria.

In December 1983, he became the first IBF world light flyweight champion with a technical knockout win over Satoshi Shingaki in Japan. Shingaki though would later become the inaugural IBF bantamweight champion.

Peñalosa defended the title three times before vacating the belt to challenge Zapata.

Peñalosa later captured the IBF Flyweight title the following year with a knockout win over Hi Sup Shin. But he lost the belt in his first defense to Chang-Ho Choi, ironically in another big fight held locally at the Araneta Colesium.

In 1989, he would get another shot at the IBF Flyweight title against Dave McAuley in the UK but lost a split decision.

He retired in 1995 with a record of 31 wins, 13 by KO, seven losses, three draws and one no contest.

Dodie Boy is elder brother of Gerry Peñalosa who would later duplicate his feat as two division world champion.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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