By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The much-talked-about amateur Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr whose decision to turn pro was held in abeyance by his father, former world champion Dodie Boy Penalosa and uncle, current WBO champion Gerry Penalosa at the request of boxing people who want him to remain an amateur and hopefully help the Philippines win its first Olympic gold medal in London in 2012, scored a 2nd round Referee Stops Contest at the Mandaluyong Gym Saturday night.
The talented young Penalosa, a two-time national champion and “Best Boxer” had reportedly impressed the Cuban coaches of the Philippine Team and amateur boxing officials Manny Lopez and Roger Forteleza with his past performances and they all believe he would be an asset to the Philippine amateur boxing team.
Among those who had a chance to size up Penalosa in a bout against Jonel Borbon who was pressed into action on the eve of the fight to prevent Penalosa from turning pro and fighting another newcomer John Henric Dones, were IBF/IBO flyweight champion and former US amateur Nonito “The Filipino” Flash Donaire.
Others who watched the Penalosa fight were one-time ABAP secretary general Rudy Salud and former amateur boxing official and one-time Mandaluyong City Mayor Ben Abalos who was an ardent supporter of Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao when he was beginning his pro career.
Viva Sports which covered the fight card noted the potential of Penalosa who used wicked body shots to wear down Borbon who quit at 1:32 of the second round and appeared game but lacked conditioning. Borbon also, on a couple of occasions, rocked the head of Penalosa back with solid right straights but was generally out-fought.
Salud also agreed with our observation that Penalosa “fought like a pro” with his almost total reliance on body shots although he did demonstrate excellent movement and quick hands.
The most valued observations came from Donaire who was a former amateur standout and had lost out to Brian Viloria in controversial fashion for a place in the US boxing team to the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.
Donaire told www.insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Dodie Boy Jr “ has a lot to work on although he is a very, very talented kid. He had good movements and good power. He has a lot of potential. “
Donaire stressed “there is no need to rush him into the pros because as an amateur he could learn a lot especially in international fights. He needs to learn the things that would make him a better professional fighter which is to learn from the competitiveness in the amateurs. It’s the best idea to keep him in the amateurs.”
Donaire also agreed with our own observation that Penalosa hardly three a jab or a right straight despite his reach and height advantage since he stands around 5’6 ½” because he has, according to ABAP officials who included the three judges and referee who officiated his bout, been knocking out his opponents with vicious body blows.