Former two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa hopes to end his colorful 21-year boxing career on a winning note when he faces Thailand’s Yodsaenkeng Kietmangmee on October 10 in Zamboanga City.
Peñalosa, 38, has decided to finally retire from the sport that gave him the World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight and World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight championship belts.
"Napag-isipan ko na kontento na ako sa mga naabot ko sa sport na ito. Napag-usapan na rin namin ito ng aking pamilya at talagang ito na ang huling laban ko at magpapaalam na ako sa boxing," said Peñalosa at Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum in Manila.
Peñalosa’s 10-round bout with Kietmangmee will be held at the Zamboanga City Coliseum. Solar Sports will air the match on October 17.
"What makes this fight special is the fact that we have a boxer who has accepted that it's time for him to bid the sport goodbye. I just hope Gerry will continue to help boxing by sharing his technical style of fighting with other young and aspiring boxers," said Chino Trinidad.
Peñalosa compiled a record of 54 wins (35 by knockout), eight losses (1 by KO) and two draws in 64 fights that spanned two decades. He won his first title on February 20, 1997 when he pulled off a 12-round split decision win against Hiroshi Kawashima to steal the WBC super flyweight title in Japan.
He defended the title three times before losing it to Korean In-Joo Cho on August 29, 1998.
Peñalosa tried to regain the title but was unsuccessful in his two attempts against Japanese Masamori Tokuyama.
The boxer from San Carlos City, Negros Occidental tried but failed to win a second division title when he lost a unanimous decision to then WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon on March 17, 2007.
Peñalosa bounced back with a seventh round KO win over Mexican Jhonny Gonzales for the WBO bantamweight strap on August 11, 2007.
He successfully defended the title when he scored an eighth-round technical knockout victory against Thailand’s Ratanachai Singwancha on April 6, 2008 at the Araneta Coliseum.
After that fight, Peñalosa decided to move up in weight and challenged the young Juan Manuel Lopez for his WBO super bantamweight title in Puerto Rico on April 4, 2009.
Lopez proved too much for the aging Peñalosa, with the Puerto Rican remaining undefeated after scoring a stoppage as the Filipino challenger had to quit before the start of the 10th round.
Peñalosa's last match was on February 2, 2010 against Eric Morel in Las Vegas for the interim WBO bantamweight title. He suffered a second straight defeat with a split decision loss to the Puerto Rican fighter.
"Wala nang suwerte sa atin dahil ibinigay ng mga hurado ang panalo kay Morel. Dito ko na talaga naisip na magretiro na at ibigay sa mga mas batang boksingero ang pagkakataon na lumaban sa title fight," said Peñalosa.
Kietmangmee is a 22-year-old boxer who holds a 12-2 win-loss record with eight of his wins by KO.
Despite being favored to win, Peñalosa is treating the fight like a championship match.
"Kung paano ako naghanda sa mga dati kong laban ay ganito rin ang ginawa ko rito. Lahat ng puwedeng mangyari ay nangyayari sa boxing, at ayaw ko ring mapahiya sa harap ng mga kababayan ko," said Peñalosa.
Peñalosa's protégé Michael Farenas will be featured in one of the undercard matches when he goes up against Korean Kim Jung-hoon.
Lightweight Jimrex Jaca, another Filipino featured in a supporting bout, tests the mettle of Korean in Choi Jong-yoon.
GMA News TV