Former two-time world champion Gerry Penalosa has expressed his desire to fight Mexican Fernando Montiel for the latter’s WBO bantamweight title. This dream bout with Montiel is, according to Penalosa, his last hurrah before he finally hangs his gloves and ride on to the sunset.
While it is an admirable endeavor to begin with, there is no need for Penalosa to step inside the squared circle one more time. Parading an already very venerable record (54-7-2, 36 KOs) and besting top caliber fighters from all over the world, Penalosa has a great career from start to finish, though it did not end in a bang.
In his last bout against Puerto Rican sensation and current WBA super bantamweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez, Penalosa took a beating in that fight. Though he fought courageously, Penalosa was on the losing end from the get-go and there was no way for him to win.
If Freddie Roach wasn’t there, Penalosa could have tasted the defeat by a knockout, literally.
The fight with Juanma should be an eye-opener for Penalosa—he is old, way past his prime, and could no longer dig it in with the top guys. Fighting for one more belt, for another shot at glory may come at a heavy price.
A lot of fighters still fought despite the fact that their bodies can no longer endure such punishments. A number of boxers have taken too many blows to the heads, staggered on for too many rounds, fought on for too many bouts, and retired too late. Muhammad Ali is a prime example.
But if Penalosa wants an example that hits close to home, he’s no other than Freddie Roach. Roach’s career extensively continued when it should have ended much earlier. And the toll was great. Waking up every day knowing that Parkinson’s is eating away your motor skills and other physical capabilities is an agonizing reality Roach faces everyday.
There’s no need for Penalosa to go the same route his trainer did. He's a great champion and there is certainly no need to prove that to world.
So to you, Gerry “Fearless” Penalosa, hang those gloves for good.
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