Gerry Penalosa and His Last Shot at Boxing Immortality

John Louie RamosSenior Writer IMarch 23, 2009

In basketball, it has been said over and over again that offense wins games, defense wins championship.

Well, boxing is a sport of fist and it is not even close to basketball, even though some ballers resort to fist fighting. The grand old man of Philippine boxing proves that defense really wins championships not just in basketball, but also in boxing.

I am talking about Gerry Penalosa, the former WBC super flyweight champion and now, current WBO bantamweight champion.

One of boxing's best defensive wizards of recent memory, maybe second to Floyd Mayweather.

Boasting an excellent record of 54-36, which is due to knockout six loss, two draws, and a slogan, "I haven't been knockdown in my entire 20-year career"

Penalosa will try to win a third championship in as many weight classes come April 25 against the Puerto Rican knockout artist and reigning WBO super bantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez.

Lopez, who carries an intimidating 24-0 record including 22 knockout wins, is one of boxing's most exciting fighter.

He won his championship by knocking out a familiar foe and conqueror of Penalosa, Daniel Ponce De Leon. He knocked out De Leon cold in the first round of what is supposed to be a tune-up fight of the Mexican for a rematch with Penalosa.

Penalosa, who is considered by many as the best technical boxer to ever came out of the Philippines, has stand the test of time and fought the best fighters of his division, such as De Leon, Jhonny Gonzales, Masomori Tokuyama, and In-Joo Cho. But the toughest challenge is expected to be Lopez.

The older and much experienced Penalosa is considered as the underdog, but still has a good chance in upsetting the faster, stronger, and younger Lopez.

Underdog or not, Penalosa is all pumped up and very much focused on his training. He admits that he feels a lot younger.

A Penalosa win would definitely assure him a spot in the Hall of Fame, and stamp his mark as one of the best lower weight class fighters of all time.

Perhaps Penalosa's last good fight.

Win or lose, he is already a champion in the eyes of fellow Filipinos.