Penalosa-Lopez, an Epic Duel of Styles and Cultures

John Louie RamosSenior Writer IApril 22, 2009

Absolute differences are key ingredients of classic plots.

This coming weekend the boxing limelight will shine anew as Filipino pride Gerry Penalosa will give his best and probably last endeavour to bring forth a third world title in as many weight classes.

But that is easier said than done, especially against Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel Lopez, the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight champion.

Penalosa, who turned pro in 1989 at a time when Lopez was probably playing hide and seek in the outskirts of Caguas, Puerto Rico, holds an emphatic record of 54-6-2 36KO's and scored outstanding performances against the likes of Jhonny Gonzales, Hiroshi Kawasima, and Ratanachai Sor Vorapin.

On the other hand, the much younger Lopez, who turned pro not so long ago, holds an equally impressive record of 24-0-0 with 22 big wins coming by way of stoppage.

The bout dubbed as "Champion versus Champion" will commence on Lopez's own backyard at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico and is expected to be one of the finest grudge matches in recent memory.

Both fighters are out on a mission.

Penalosa is hoping to ascend upon the Mount Olympus of boxing and perhaps showcase another splendid showing that will cement his legacy as one of the all-time best prize fighters Malaysia has ever produced.

Similarly, Lopez is out to etch his name on the higher fortress of sweet science, hoping to follow the footsteps of his countryman, Felix Trinidad.

Lopez is a force to be reckoned with, an offensive menace who seemed to possess Paul Bunyan's unusual lumberjack strength.

Penalosa is a defensive tactician who honed and perfected his craft just like a bottle of wine that endures time and improves quality through the years.

The bout, or should I say war, is embellished with gold and silver linings and carries dreams and aspirations not only of two courageous gentlemen, but also the dreams and aspirations of two proud and storied cultures.