Source: ABS-CBN News
WBO bantamweight titleholder and Filipino veteran Gerry Penalosa wants a crack at young new WBO super bantamweight titlist Juan Manuel Lopez:
"That's the fight I want. I want Lopez. ... I'm not getting any younger. I'd like to fight someone who has a belt. I want my last fights to be good, I want to fight the best."
Penalosa had for the last year been trying to secure a rematch with former WBO 122-pound titlist Daniel Ponce de Leon, after some felt he deserved the victory over Ponce de Leon on the undercard of Barrera-Marquez, a night notable for weird scoring by all sets of judges. I didn't think Penalosa won the fight, but I had it 115-113 for Ponce de Leon, a far cry from the official tallies of 120-108, 119-109 and 119-109. Suggesting that Ponce de Leon won 11 of 12 rounds or even shut Penalosa out seemed preposterous to almost everyone on earth, I think. That was also the same night that Marquez's decision over Barrera turned out to be a no-brainer according to the scores, and Steve Forbes was (in my opinion) badly robbed against Demetrius Hopkins.
Would Penalosa have a prayer against Lopez? Sure. He's a savvy fighter, a guy who's been around the block more than once. His only hope, really, would be to outsmart Lopez and keep the aggressive, younger man chasing him without landing much in the way of substantial shots. He did that to fair results against Ponce de Leon, really, outboxing Ponce. But Lopez is a much different fighter than the guy he just knocked out.
I'd have to consider Lopez a heavy, heavy favorite against the 35-year old Penalosa, but it's also a fight I'd certainly like to see. Two titleholders, two damn good fighters, and a nice opponent for Lopez at this stage of his career.