Former two division world champion Gerry Penalosa believes his protégé, IBF No. 4 ranked southpaw Michael “Hammer Fist” Farenas needs a knockout when he battles No. 11 ranked American Mark Davis at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut on July 2.
Penalosa told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that the 29 year old southpaw Farenas who has a record of 38-4-4 with 30 knockouts was scheduled to leave for Los Angeles on Wednesday night and would train at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach where he would “just need refining since he is in good shape and about 70-80 percent ready.”
The classy Penalosa who is regarded by celebrated trainer Freddie Roach as one of the technically finest Filipino champions said Farenas would be accompanied by his elder brother Carlos Penalosa and strength and conditioning coach Jay San Pedro who, according to Penalosa “studied for six months in Canada and is good while Farenas confirmed that San Pedro was an asset.”
Penalosa said the hard-hitting Farenas had sparred around 50 round with Junel Alivio and Al Rivera, who he described as a “very good and promising fighter.”
This reporter had earlier watched Farenas and Rivera spar four furious rounds at the Gerry Penalosa Gym in Mandaluyong as Farenas prepared for his battle with the undefeated Davis. Farenas and Rivera who is also a southpaw traded some big shots throughout in a four round sparring session that looked more like a real fight which is what Penalosa wanted.
Penalosa told the Standard they had watched tapes of Davis who “is fast and his style is like that of Yuriorkis Gamboa” the former Cuban and undefeated world champion. Gerry made it clear that Farenas “cannot take him (Davis) lightly” pointing out “its his hometown and the fight is on ESPN.”
An outstanding amateur with some 200 bouts, Davis fought for the WBC USNB super featherweight title against tough Guillermo Sanchez and although Davis won a ten round unanimous decision he lost the chance to win the title as he was three pounds over the limit.
One of Davis’ achievements was when he won the gold medal at the 2006 US Championships and later went on to win the Eastern Olympic Trials for the 2008 Olympics.
Penalosa predicted “it will be a war. We need a knockout. That’s the best.”
Farenas is coming off a 2nd round TKO of Mexican veteran Hector Velazquez, a former opponent of “Fighter of the Decade” Manny Pacquiao.
Farenas earned recognition in the US for his gallant stand against unbeaten world champion and former Cuban Olympic gold medalist Yuriorkis Gamboa on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fourth fight with Farenas dropping the showboating Gamboa in the 9th round although the Cuban dropped Farenas twice to win a unanimous decision.
Penalosa said the Gamboa fight earned Farenas “the respect as a warrior” and should he beat Davis, Penalosa said he would ask IBF Championship Committee Chairman Lindsey Tucker to give Farenas a title shot at the winner of a fight between champion Argenis Mendez and No. 1 contender Rancee Barthalemy.
Tags: Michael Farenas