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PE?ALOSA: IT'S NOW OR NEVER


PhilBoxing.com




LOS ANGELES—Ten years after winning his first world title, Filipino dynamite Gerry Pe?alosa thinks that Father Time hasn’t caught up with him just yet.

Since losing his World Boxing Council superflyweight crown and four other bitter failed bids in between years 1997 to 2007, Penalosa is hungry and on a mission: Win a final world title to finally close out a brilliant career and keep a family tradition of winning.

But this time around, the odds are stacked against him when he faces a stronger, bigger and younger champion, Mexican Daniel Ponce De Leon, the WBO super bantamweight titlist. Pe?alosa probably gets his final chance on March 17 at the Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas.

For the first time in his career, Pe?alosa is eating more than he should and trying to bulk up more muscle, at least four pounds, in view of the big challenge he is facing.

“I am going to push myself to the limit. I have trained harder than ever and I want to fulfill this dream of becoming world champion again,” said Pe?alosa, now 34.

But like old wine, Pe?alosa has become a stronger spirit and a more mature, thinking fighter, his fighting style a pleasure to watch that most of boxers at the Wild Card gym where he trains stop their activity to watch him spar and give out a boxing lesson every time.

Many-time world title contender Julio “Yambito” Gamboa, Pe?alosa’s chief sparring partner starting last Monday, summed up how he respected the Filipino in one word. “Brains,” said Gamboa, pointing to his head and referring to Pe?alosa’s style of controlled aggression.

Pe?alosa has shown no signs of slowing down even as he runs the hills of Griffith Park in Hollywood like a springy teenager, even outpacing prospect Diosdado Gabi everyday. Gym rats claim they’ve never seen him this dedicated and ready.

“He’s gonna knock Ponce De Leon out in the later rounds and I hope he wins by late stoppage so that his fate will not fall on the judges’ hands,” said boxing historian Macka Foley, already on his fourth decade in the business.

“Gerry is one of the best boxers who has ever trained here in the gym and he is next to James Toney up there,” added Foley.

Foley may not have alluded to the recent judging fiasco in Cebu City where the judges and fight referee snatched a clear win from the clutches of Filipino Z Gorres when he blasted WBO super flyweight champion Fernando Montiel last week.

Despite the loss, the WBO has not demoted Gorres from his No. 1 ranking, something odd and totally inexplicable.

“I will do my best to win this one for my country, my family and myself,” said Pe?alosa, who is supported by a small group of friends in Los Angeles, even as he is staying at the posh Palazzo apartments, the same facility used by his compadre Manny Pacquiao.

“They should hire Gerry to cut diamonds,” said Rob Peters, after he watched Pe?alosa spar for eight rounds Friday. “He cuts so precisely that his boxing is so beautiful to behold,”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Winchell Campos.


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