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Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines – Going in  to his seventh professional fight, highly touted super bantamweight prospect Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., son of former two-division world champion Dodie Boy Sr., was expected to win against journeyman Donriel Marcos in Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City. And he did in a very emphatic fashion, a TKO victory in the 3rd round.

Dodie Boy Jr. suffers his first career knockdown as Donriel Marcos stands by in the neutral corner.

A low blow in the second round by Marcos cost him a point. But it did not even matter as heavy shots to the body from Penalosa took their toll and began to sap whatever wind left out from Marcos. Near the end of the third stanza, Penalosa was having a field day pummeling away at Marcos’ torso. Marcos’ trainer entered the ring to save his boxer from further punishment.

However, much is still left to be desired for the young prizefighter, whose family name is greatly hallowed in the boxing world.

Marcos, whose record now stands at 10-14 with 1 KO, was supposed to be another fighter in the way. But the very crude pugilist delivered something no one in the venue was expecting – Penalosa’s first career knockdown IN THE FIRST ROUND. A very eager Penalosa rushed at Marcos with his guard down and got nailed with a thundering right hook counter to the chin.

The shot decked Penalosa to the canvas. Although he survived the knockdown, he was on the verge of getting overwhelmed when Marcos tried to drown him in a salvo of combinations after getting back up. The second round showed a rather immature Penalosa, whose desire to get even was clearly evident when he pursued Marcos’ body, but left himself open again and again and was grazed multiple times by the same shot that downed him in the first inning.

Gerry Penalosa, Dodie Jr.’s uncle and promoter and himself a two-division world titlist and highly regarded as the best technical boxer to come out of the Philippine islands, announced that as the promoter, he will have to forgo a slot reserved for his nephew in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez WBO welterweight title bout.

Both Dodie Sr. and Gerry Penalosa, said its best: “The kid needs more experience.”

As a father, Dodie Sr. expressed that he was scared for a moment after seeing his son kissing the canvas for the first time. He also stated they need to recoup as a team and learn from what transpired in last night’s fights.

“There are a lot of flaws that needs to be fixed,” Dodie Sr. said after the fight. “Like keeping his guard up.”

For Gerry, the knockdown can be turned into something positive.

“In a way, I think Dodie Boy will learn something valuable (from the knockdown),” Gerry said. “This is a brutal sport and you can’t avoid getting hit. It should serve as an eye-opener for Dodie Jr. and learn from his mistake.”

Asked whether he wants his son to take part in the Pacquiao-Marquez undercard, Dodie Sr.’s answer was short and quick.

“No. He needs to improve first.”

He sure does.

Dave Penalosa, Eden Sonsona, and Michael Farenas win respective bouts

Dave Penalosa (1-0), Dodie Boy Jr.’s younger brother, won his professional debut, scoring a unanimous decision win over John Edu Torbiso (0-2-1).  Penalosa was very effective in delivering clean and thudding blows but was not able to take Torbiso out, who was clearly exhausted due to the body shots he received.

Eden Sonsona (29-6, 9 KOs) displayed superior ringcraft and guile over the outclassed and one-dimensional Godwin Tubigon (7-4-1, 3 KOs). Sonsona was very patient in the first few rounds, picking his shots and would dance around Tubigon. By the fifth inning, Sonsona increased the pace and began landing significant shots to the head and body.

By the sixth round, a clearly outmatched Tubigon was getting nailed at will by Sonsona. A short left counter by Sonsona sent Tubigon to the mat for the first time. Tubigon survived the knockdown but was downed again by a right hook from Sonsona. Referee Tony Pesons called a halt to the bout but not before putting himself in another controversy. Tubigon’s corner threw in the towel twice before the stoppage was ruled but their plea was ignored twice by Pesons, who simply threw the towel back to the corner on both ocassions.

Michael Farenas (had to go through a tough time against Edgar Gabejan in their Philippine Featherweight championship bout. Gabejan, the champion, was clearly getting outclassed by the more fluid and more precise Farenas and had to resort to dirty tactics, rushing Farenas with his cranium. Both fighters landed telltale blows throughout the fight but Farenas was the far accurate and more effective puncher.

Judges gave a unanimous nod to Farenas.

Photo credits: PhilBoxing.com

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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.