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Ponce de Leon, Penalosa to meet again

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Philboxing.com is reporting that WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon and WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa will fight in a rematch of their controversial March bout, possibly in February. Early reports are that the championship fight will take place in Penalosa's homeland, the Philippines.

Penalosa -- who remains among his country's most successful fighters -- lost on lopsided scores to Ponce de Leon in March, on the undercard of Barrera-Marquez. It was a hell of a good fight, and the veteran Penalosa fought wonderfully. Ponce de Leon was favored by almost everyone to score one of his emphatic knockouts, but it never came. The cagey Penalosa simply kept boxing with him, and stayed out of the danger zones.

I scored it at 115-113 for Ponce de Leon. The official cards had two at 119-109 and one as a clean sweep, 120-108. HBO's Harold Lederman had it 118-110.

Most rounds were close, but to not see more than one or two rounds won by Penalosa seemed baffling to me. I've re-watched the fight since; I have the same score. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining affair, and I welcome the rematch, particularly as we're talking about the stars of the Mexico-Philippines Golden Boy World Cup -- Penalosa upset Jhonny Gonzalez to win the bantamweight title with a beautiful liver shot, and Ponce de Leon annihilated 21-year old super prospect Rey Bautista at 2:39 of the first round.

Penalosa has said he may have just one more fight before he retires, and this would be a good way to go out -- a big fight in your home country, trying to avenge a tough loss. Knowing more about what Penalosa does, though, Ponce de Leon would still have to be an overwhelming favorite to win by KO. He's a tremendous finisher, one of the best in the sport. Hopefully, if he beats Penalosa or not, we'll see Ponce de Leon matched up with the winner of the Vazquez-Marquez rubber match sometime next year. Or the loser. I don't care, either of those fights would be fantastic.