By Dennis Principe
Filipino two-time world title challenger Mike Farenas made short work of Mexican Jesus Rios in a win that could set the Filipino fighter to a marquee match early next year. The 29-year-old Farenas bedazzled Rios (26-5-1, 20 knockouts) with his much improved footwork and combinations, dropping the Mexican fighter twice in the second round on his way to a technical knockout victory at 2:40 of the second round in an ambitious promotion held Friday night at the posh Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City, Philippines.
It was Farenas' third straight win, all by stoppages, since dropping a 12-round decision loss to Cuban sensation Yuriorkis Gamboa in an action-filled WBA inrerim super featherweight title fight last December 2012 in Las Vegas. Before losing to Gamboa, Farenas attempt to snatch the regular WBA super featherweight crown from champion Takashi Uchiyama ended in a technical draw when a clash of heads that resulted in a bad cut on the champion's eye forced an early stoppage.
The southpaw Farenas (37-4-4, 29 knockouts) later revealed that his manager, former two-division world champion Gerry Penalosa is eyeing either Mexican Daniel Ponce De Leon or Juan Manuel Lopez of Mexico for his next schedule.
"I prefer JuanMa because he just stays in front of you and he's easy to hit. I guess his previous losses make him an easy target," said Farenas.
Macau is being targeted as a possible destination of Farenas for his next fight as Top Rank's Bob Arum is planning to stage another Zou Shiming headliner in February.
Meanwhile on the same fight card, Penalosa's nephew Dodie Boy, Jr. kept his unblemished record via a 7th round technical decision win over Mexican Alem Robles. The fight had to be stopped after Penalosa's suffered a nasty cut over his right eye that was caused by a headbutt. However, Penalosa's streak of 11 straight knockout wins since turning pro ended that night.