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Cebu City, Philippines – Penalosa. The name is highly revered and respected in the boxing world and rightly so.

Brothers Dodie Boy, Sr., Jonathan, and Gerry have carved their marks during their prizefighting heydays. Dodie Sr. became the first Filipino boxer to win championships in two different divisions. Jonathan, a former world title contender, is now a respected boxing trainer. The most famous of them all, Gerry, won two world championships in two separate weight classes and is highly regarded as the best technical fighter from the Philippines. Gerry also heads his own boxing promotions outfit, GerryPens Promotions.

This Saturday, October 1st, 2011 at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, a younger generation of Penalosas will enter the squared circle and prove they have what it takes to carry their family name to the top echelons of the sport. Dodie Boy, Jr. and and his younger brother Dave, both sons of Dodie Boy Sr., will do battle in the same boxing event for the first time.

(L to R) Dodie Boy Sr. and Jr. with Michael FarenasDodie Boy Jr. will take on Donriel Marcos (10-13, 1 KO), rated #10 bantamweight in the Philippines.

Dodie Boy Jr. is coming off from an impressive 3rd-round TKO victory over Thailand’s Kong Kiatpracha Gym and is well on his way to a regional title shot if he performs well this Saturday night. Dodie Boy Jr. is undefeated in six fights, with six wins by stoppages.

His uncle and promoter, Gerry, mentioned he has big plans for the his nephew, including a slot in the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard in November.

Dodie Boy Jr. still has a chance to be part of the Manny Pacquiao fight,” Gerry said. “I spoke to Manny about it and depending on this Saturday’s outcome, we will know if he will fight in Las Vegas or not.”

But I am pretty sure he will fight for the WBO youth title by the end of January next year.”

While most eyes are on Dodie Boy Jr., significant amount of attention is also thrown on Dave, who will be making his professional debut. In a press conference held in Sports Exchange Bar and Grill, Dave told the media that he feels the pressure mounting. Being a Penalosa, the kid has a humongous pair of shoes to fill and any ordinary individual would have wilted away from the tension and expectations that comes with the name.

Dave Penalosa (right) doing mitt work with father and trainer, Dodie Boy Sr.

But young Dave calmly took the questions and answered with a considerable degree of confidence.

The pressure is always there,” Dave told the sports media present. “But I look up to my father and my uncle and I want to be like them.”

I want to be a world champion.”

While he does not have a professional record to back his talk, Dave certainly has what it takes to walk the walk. The young kid is a highly touted fighter during his amateur days and is a gold medalist in the National Amateur Championships.


Also fighting in the undercard is the very talented and rugged Michael Farenas (32-3, 26 KOs), who will try to nab the Philippine featherweight crown from defending champion Edgar Gabejan (22-25-5, 6 KOs). Farenas is coming off from a hard earned split decision victory over the hard-hitting Fernando Beltran (35-6-1, 19 KOS) of Mexico.

A slot for a fight in Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas on November 11th, the night before the Pacquiao-Marquez WBO welterweight title bout, is on the line for Farenas.

Eden Sonsona (27-6, 7 KOs) will also try to make good in his second comeback fight against a very game Godwin Tubigon (7-3-1, 3 KOs). Sonsona was not impressive in his last outing in August 2011, a majority decision win over journeyman Edman Labanza.

Tubigon, for his part, said that he is happy the organizers chose him to be Sonsona’s opponent, citing that he “will give Sonsona a good fight.”

Laban ng Lahi: Penalosa vs. Marcos will be held in Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City, on October 1st, 2011 at 6PM. Ticket prices are as follows: Gen. Admission (P50), upper box (P100), lower box (P200), ringside (P300) and special ringside (P500).

Photo credits: PhilBoxing / Carlos Costa

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.