Aug 14, 2007

RP boxers bag World Cup

Of 6 Filipino fighters, only Boom Boom bombs out
By Recah Trinidad
Inquirer
Last updated 02:18am (Mla time) 08/13/2007

SACRAMENTO -- A crushing knockout win by Gerry Peñalosa Sunday powered the Philippines to a 5-1 win over Mexico in their battle for the Boxing World Cup, and helped to take the sting out of Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista’s fall in one round to another Mexican.

Peñalosa crowned the Philippines’ capture of the

World Cup by finishing off the celebrated defending champion Jhonny Gonzalez in seven rounds to claim the World Boxing Organization bantamweight title.

The night’s other top bout proved that promoter Oscar de La Hoya was wrong when he swore that strongman “Boom Boom” Bautista was ready for world acclaim.

A brutal first-round stoppage suffered by the boyish Bautista showed he was wrongly let loose against the rock-fisted Daniel Ponce de Leon of Mexico, who mauled the hapless farmer’s son from Bohol to retain his WBO junior featherweight title.

Bautista’s shocking defeat failed to rob the Philippines of the glory of winning the Cup.

Frustrated in nailing the back-pedaling champion, Peñalosa dug a killer knife of a left to the lean, exposed rib cage that stunned the classy Mexican.

Stabbed, Gonzalez stiffened and turned pale, before sinking slowly and rolling senseless on the floor as flag-waving Filipinos at ringside and the gallery erupted in celebration after the Mexican was counted out for good.

It was the second world crown for the 35-year-old Peñalosa, written off years back as a has-been after capturing the WBC super flyweight crown of Japan’s Hiroshi Kawashima in 1997 in Tokyo.

Peñalosa could have lost the bout and the Philippines still would have captured the Boxing World Cup following successive wins by Diosdado Gabi, Michael Domingo, AJ Banal and Z Gorres.

Banal and Gorres also pulled off abbreviated victories.

Nicknamed Bazooka, Banal stopped Jorge Cardenas in the third round of a six-rounder. Gorres conquered ex-WBC champion Eric Ortiz by technical knockout in the eighth round.

Gabi of Davao City prevailed by unanimous decision over Jose Angel Beranza in an eight-rounder while Michael Domingo scored a six-round decision over previously unbeaten Miguel Roman.

Filipinos’ ringmanship

On the whole, superior ringmanship by Filipinos over Mexican foes in the six-against-six supremacy test bolstered the growing reputation of the Philippines as a leading producer of world-class boxers.

The Philippine team, which heads for home Monday, thus brings with it the gem-studded World Cup first won by Mexico over Thailand (5-1) in Tucson, Arizona, in December 2005.

De La Hoya announced he would visit the Philippines “very soon” to present the elegant trophy to the Filipino people.

“Keep your head up high,” De La Hoya told the grim, teary Bautista during the award rites. “The future is bright, you’ll be a champion someday.”

WBO lightweight champion Michael Katsidis assumed the captain’s role abandoned by Manny Pacquiao, who inexplicably left for Manila from Los Angeles on Friday.

Katsidis joined and embraced the Filipino boxers as though he was one of them.

Pacquiao’s promise

Later, Peñalosa told television people that Pacquiao had promised him a $10,000 bonus. A Team Pacquiao insider said Pacman had won a $60,000 bet on the 3-1 underdog.

“I plan to retire, but I want to fight Ponce de Leon first,” Peñalosa said to emphasize the growing rivalry between the Philippines and Mexico as boxing powers.

That feud seethed after Peñalosa’s stunning win when a brawl among Filipino and Mexican fans erupted in the gallery, prompting a small army of sheriff’s deputies to restore order.

Police officers were seen hauling off a few people before the main event in which Bautista, the second most popular boxer after Pacquiao, stumbled and bombed out in his historic attempt at boxing superstardom.

‘I can’t believe it’

Peñalosa (52-6-2, 35 KOs), who lost a decision to Ponce de Leon in March, finished Gonzalez with one body punch.

Late in the seventh, Peñalosa ducked under Gonzalez’s left-right combination and landed a powerful left hand squarely on Gonzalez’s side.

Gonzalez took two steps back in disbelief before crumpling to his knees.

“I can’t believe it,” a screaming Peñalosa said. “This is what I’ve been waiting for my whole life, to be a champion. I’m so proud for Team Philippines.”

“He hit me with a great shot,” Gonzalez said. “I got the right hand down, and he hit me. I was boxing beautifully, but I made the mistake and put my right hand down. I couldn’t get up. It was so painful.”

Ponce de Leon (32-1, 29 KOs) came out in his usual fearless style, throwing haymakers and combinations at a retreating Bautista (23-1).

Praise from Palace

In the final minute of the round, Ponce de Leon landed a right jab-left hook combination that sent Bautista tumbling over his toes and crashing woozily into the ropes.

Referee Jon Schorle allowed the fight to continue, and Ponce de Leon finished it off with 30 seconds left with a neck-snapping left to Bautista’s unprotected head.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the nation in heaping praise on Peñalosa and the other four boxers for defeating their Mexican opponents.

“I join the Filipino nation in giving our heartfelt congratulations to our boxing champs for their victory over Mexico. Gerry Peñalosa has shown remarkable courage and skill in winning his title,” said Ms Arroyo.

Ms Arroyo had kind words for Boom Boom.

“Boom-Boom’s loss is but a temporary setback, one that he will rise from with greater strength and determination,” she said. With reports from Michael Ubac and Associated Press

1 comment:

merjoem32 said...

Our boxers worked hard so we won. Bautista lost but he did his best and we were still able to take home the trophy. This success will raise the recognition of Philippine boxing as one of the best in the world. I hope this success will continue and we will have more world champions.