By Ronnie Nathanielsz

WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Penalosa, living up to his “Fearless” nickname wants a shot at WBO super bantamweight champion and Puerto Rican sensation Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar De La Hoya “Dream Match’ at the MGM Grand on December 6.

In an overseas telephone conversation with insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports, Penalosa’s manager Billy Keane said that mandatory bantamweight challenger Abner Mares has “a detached retina and has to undergo surgery which will put him out of action for the rest of the year. So that fight is off.”

Keane said he had spoken to Penalosa who said he “wants to fight Juan Manuel Lopez . He really wants that fight and believes he can win the fight.” Keane said he would talk to Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum who handles Marquez “to see if we can make that fight happen.”

When told that this was a dangerous fight for Penalosa, Keane said “the one thing about Gerry is that he is realistic. If he says he can win the fight he may have seen something in the guy. But I don’t know.”

Penalosa himself told us that Lopez was “strong and good, but I am better.” If ever the fight pushes through the game-plan of Penalosa would be to try and outbox the super bantamweight champion over the early rounds and then hopefully take him out in the later rounds.

Penalosa said he has “always been in training” and gave the impression he is itching to get into the ring and truly enhance his already remarkable reputation.

The veteran 36 year old southpaw and former world super flyweight champion has a record of 53-6-2 with 36 knockouts and won the 118 pound crown with a stunning one-punch KO of Mexico’s Jhonny Gonzales in the 7th round on August 11 last year after dropping a unanimous twelve round decision to then super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon. Penalosa actually out-boxed but lost because of the sheer volume of punches throw by Ponce De Leon although some boxing writers felt he deserved to win..

Juanma, the 25 year old southpaw like Penalosa, is undefeated in 23 fights with 21 knockouts. He won the title with a first round TKO of Ponce De Leon last June 7and then smashed Cesar Figueroa in one round on October 4. Top Rank’s astute Bob Arum told insidesports.ph before the Ponce De Leon fight that Lopez would win by knockout and was his emerging superstar.