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PE?ALOSA: I AM READY AND CONFIDENT


PhilBoxing.com




LAS VEGAS--Oozing with confidence and excitement, former world champion Gerry Pe?alosa believes victory is almost within reach when he faces Daniel Ponce De Leon for the WBO super-bantam title Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila) at the Mandalay Bay Arena here.

The 34-year-old Filipino did some light workout Thursday afternoon at the IBA gym and was already within the 122-pound limit when he weighed in at an unofficial scale, flashing a smile.

"I am ready and I am confident that I will become world champion once again," said Pe?alosa, the heartbreak kid of Philippine boxing, after he failed four times in the past to win over opponents who benefitted from notorious hometown decisions.

"I believe the fight (with Ponce-De Leon) will not go the distance," said the Cebuano, who won the WBC super-flyweight title more than a decade ago. "I know I must win convincingly in order to take the title and winning by knockout will eliminate all other complications."

Inspired by his wife and two kids who flew in with him Monday here, Pe?alosa believes his boxing skills and style will offset the size and strength advantages of his opponent, eight years his junior.

"I feel very good and I think this is the fight that will define my career. I have never trained harder than for this fight and I have prepared long and hard for this one. This is the fight that I have been waiting for," added Pe?alosa.

While his chief trainer and manager begged off from being at ringside, Freddie Roach, speaking by long distance phone call from Puerto Rico, wished Pe?alosa well. "Without a doubt, Gerry will become champion," said Roach.

"He will kill the guy (Ponce De Leon)," added Roach, who also believed that the Mexican does not possess advantages that will help him keep back his title. "Gerry is still one of the best pure boxers out there and he will prove it to everyone come fight night."

For his part, Ponce De Leon welcomed the challenge and believes that the spirit of his ancestors will help him retain his crown. A former Mexican Olympian, Ponce De Leon comes from a Mexican-Indian tribe from Chihuahua.

"I am bigger and stronger," said Ponce De Leon in Spanish, who also laughed as he revealed that his three-year-old son is also named Geronimo, the same name of Pe?alosa.

"I respect him because he is a former champion and I know he has excellent boxing skills. But I have prepared hard for this fight too and this calls for a very exciting finish. I also think I will win by knockout."

The Pe?alosa-Ponce De Leon fight will be beamed live all over the world via HBO pay-per-view and is the main supporting bout underneath the Marco Antonio Barrera-Juan Manuel Marquez title fight.


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


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