The second Golden Boy World Cup fight night saw the Filipino fighters win five of six bouts against their Mexican foes, with only WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon victorious for his country.
But it was a hell of a victory. Ponce de Leon, out last in the HBO televised main event, came to the ring with serious focus and blew 21-year old Rey Bautista out of the water, scoring a first round knockout at two minutes, thirty seconds.
Bautista -- who came in undefeated and something of a golden child for the Filipino fighters -- never was in the fight. He was hurt within the first minute, then knocked down on a vicious shot off the chin, stumbling into the ropes, clearly as good as out on his feet. He recovered, somewhat, and was allowed to continue. Moments later, Ponce de Leon finished him off with the 29th knockout of his career, and his 11th in the opening frame.
Bautista will now have to face recovery from his first career loss. It would appear evident that he simply wasn't ready for a fighter like Ponce de Leon, who can close a hurt opponent with the best of them. He showed vulnerability early, which is all the champion needed, and he closed out the night with a big win for Mexico.
In the other HBO fight, veteran Gerry Penalosa unseated WBO bantamweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez with a wonderfully-placed liver shot at 2:45 of the seventh round. It is Gonzalez's second loss in his last three fights, the other coming at the hands of Israel Vazquez at super bantamweight last year, a fight that Gonzalez dominated with his jab and slick style before Vazquez mounted a remarkable comeback.
Gonzalez said in the weeks leading up to the fight that he had a lot of trouble making 118 pounds, and that this would be his final fight at the weight. It was not an impressive bout on either side prior the knockout punch; personally, I had Gonzalez up, five rounds to one. He lost the opening round, but after that he controlled the action, keeping Penalosa on the outside by flicking his left hand out at will. He didn't land his jab very well at all (in fact, it was terrible), but he was able to dictate the flow and pace.
That said, the shots he did land seemed to have no snap, save for a digging left hook to the body he started to land well in the sixth round. But even those didn't appear to be taking any immediate toll on Penalosa whatsoever.
Bob Papa said after the fight that it was an impressive performance from Penalosa. It wasn't; he looked much better in his loss in March to Ponce de Leon, a fight where the scorecards were dubious, to say the least. Gonzalez will have to move up to 122 pounds, or even featherweight. His fight with Vazquez showed he can handle 122 just fine. Vazquez is a hell of a fighter, there's no shame in losing a war to him.
Now the champion, Penalosa has said that he may fight just one more time before retiring.
In the other, non-televised fights:
Z Gorres TKO-8 Eric Ortiz
Diosdado Gabi UD-8 Jose Beranza
Michael Domingo UD-6 Miguel Roman
AJ Banal TKO-3 Jorge Cardenas