by Nick Giongco
Fast-rising featherweight Dave Peñalosa’s fourth-round stoppage of Mexican Marcos Cardenas late Saturday night left a lasting impression on his legendary uncle Gerry Peñalosa that he talked about giving his nephew a world title shot next.
“Para magka-alaman na (It’s time to know if he’s for real),” said Gerry, who was a few feet from where Cardenas was knocked down thrice thanks to the young Peñalosa’s brutal body assault.
Gerry didn’t bat an eyelash when he rattled off a familiar name.
“Oscar Valdez,” Gerry said, referring to the reigning World Boxing Organization 126-lb titlist from Mexico.
“Ooperan ko sya, $150,000, para idepensya nya ang korona dito sa Manila (I’m going to make an offer, $150,000, for him to put the title on the line against Dave here in Manila),” said Gerry, who feels his 28-year-old nephew, son of two-time world champ Dodie Boy, is ripe for a crack at Valdez’s title.
The victory over Cardenas boosted the southpaw Peñalosa’s record to 15-0 with 11 KOs.
Valdez (25-0 with 20 KOs) fights out of Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and is one of the Hall of Fame promoter’s fair-haired boys.
An incident just before Cardenas took a fall may have convinced Gerry that Dave passed a stern test.
Both 28 years old, Cardenas rocked Peñalosa in the fourth that left the audience gasping but instead of panicking, the Cebu-based Filipino returned fire with impunity.
Taking pointers from his highly-competent corner, whose members included Dodie Boy and one-time world title challenger Jonathan, Dave dug deep into Cardenas head and body, a tactic that paid off as the visitor folded in the heat of the furious attack.
Also taking the spotlight was former world light-fly and fly titleholder Johnriel Casimero, now competing at bantamweight.
Ranged against the gutsy but overmatched Japanese Kenya Yamashita, Casimero finally scored a TKO in the sixth stanza after failing to put him away earlier.
Yamashita didn’t win any round but he won the hearts of every Filipino with his show of bravado and his kamikaze approach sent him on the verge of death.
When the referee put an end to the fight, almost at around the same time one of his cornermen went up the ring to signal that they had seen enough, Yamashita’s nose and mouth was covered with his own blood.
As his handlers were comforting him, Yamashita looked as if he was passing out, forcing paramedics to get into the ring.
At one time, a stretcher was even brought up so Yamashita, who was given oxygen, can be rushed to the hospital.
But fortunately, Yamashita managed to get up and circled the ring and the crowd applauded his gallant effort despite being on the receiving end of Casimero’s power shots to the head and body.
Gerry, who promoted the slugfest in partnership with TV5, even urged the medical team to bring Yamashita to the nearest medical center.
Earlier, unbeaten bantam Carlo Jammes Martin of Ifugao ran roughshod over his Thai foe.
An avalanche of hard rights and lefts to the head a d body towards the end of the third round sent Petchorchad Kokietgym down.
His handlers decided that enough was enough and the referee motioned the fight to a halt just before the bell for round four.