October 12, 2007
Words have spread that negotiations are being made for a boxing rematch between WBO bantamweight ace Gerry Penalosa of the Philippines and WBO super bantamweight reigning champion Daniel Ponce de Leon of Mexico who is famous for his neck-slashing hand gesture upon his introduction prior to his fight.
The fight is scheduled on December 8, 2007 at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, as an undercard in the Mayweather vs Hatton superbout.
The two pugilists have met in the ring sometime in March this year where de Leon successfully defended his WBO super bantamweight crown against Penalosa by winning on points. On August 2007, de Leon again defended his title with a stunning first round knock-out victory against another hard-hitting Filipino boxing sensation Rey “boom boom” Bautista.
By the looks of it, it could be simply put that de Leon is somebody to be reckoned with in his weight class. Although slow in footwork, de Leon has the strength, raw power and aggressiveness that could put anyone to dreamland once one of those wild punches finds its mark. It takes agility, durability, good hand speed and stamina in order to put de Leon away.
Considering these facts, it is only imperative for Penalosa to formulate his strategies, and practice and master these from now on. Looking back on their previous fight, Penalosa was lacking in aggressiveness.
Although it was obvious that Penalosa had the edge in style, it was not just enough to subdue de Leon who sensed that Penalosa’s punches were too “soft”, tentative and lacking in numbers. By covering himself and putting his gloves up, de Leon knew that with this he is safe and when his turn comes, he can pummel Penalosa with harder punches that could put the latter down on the canvass.
Being the winner of their previous fight, de Leon has a tendency to stay with the style that he used. Penalosa will only have a slim winning chance if he will not opt for a better fight plan that involves more lateral movement, more jabs, more follow up punches for the ones that landed and being aggressive in the last seconds of each round and during the first few seconds of the succeeding rounds, and opting for clinches when de Leon comes back. In short, the “hit and run” technique is the effective way that will defeat the slugger in Daniel Ponce de Leon.
We know that Penalosa is already 36 years old. Does he have the agility of youth to put de Leon away? We’ll see …