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GERRY PENALOSA: THE GREAT FIGHTER THAT YOUNG FILIPINO BOXERS SHOULD EMULATE


Photo by Oliver Suarez

Photo by Oliver Suarez

When talking about Filipino boxing, Manny Pacquiao is often the topic of discussion. Everybody is looking for the next Pacquiao and many of the younger Filipino boxers want to emulate his style and follow his footsteps.

But there’s another great fighter from the island of Philippines and his name is Gerry ‘Fearless’ Penalosa. The tragedy is he’s only become familiar to most boxing fans in the latter years of his career and many never got the chance to see him at his best. It can even be argued that his only legit loss was against Juan Manuel Lopez as he has been the victim of numerous hometown decisions very early in his career.
Freddie Roach has often said that he’s the best technical fighter from the Philippines and when he trained in Roy Jones’ camp before his fight against In Joo Choo, the former pound for pound king came away very impressed with Penalosa’s skills and wanted to sign him into a promotional contract.

In fact, Penalosa was Pacquiao’s mentor and more than held his own in sparring sessions with the Filipino icon in his flyweight days. Penalosa’s set of skills is impressive and if given the same opportunities as others in his prime, there’s no doubt that boxing fans would have put him in the same class as Rafael Marquez and Johnny Tapia.

If there is a fighter that young Filipino fighters should it emulate it is Gerry Penalosa. Everybody wants to be the next Pacquiao, but the latter is once in a lifetime talent with extraordinary physical gifts. Also, people often talk about Pacquiao’s power and speed, but one of the reasons he’s accomplished so much later in his career is that he’s improved upon his fundamentals and ring generalship

There might not be anyone better in the history of Philippine boxing when it comes to fundamentals and ring generalship than the ‘Fearless’ one. Penalosa’s technical skills and guile have been the main factors in his success even at an advance age. Those are intangibles that most can attain with hard work.

Watch his fights and see how he avoids his opponents’ punches even in close quarters by using subtle body and head movements; these are the skills that have helped him find ways to win even against opponents that may have better physical gifts.

In addition, many of young Filipino boxers can learn about what it takes to be successful for a long time by following Penalosa’s work ethic. Sure Penalosa has skills, but his work ethic is the one that has helped him sustain his success all this time. Now, some young Filipino fighters seem to take their opportunities for granted and not thinking that it can disappear in a blink of an eye.

Many young fighters can also learn from how he handles adversities in the ring. When Penalosa is in the ring, there is not a more focused fighter. He doesn’t let the emotions of the crowd or what he’s opponent is doing to dictate what he wants to do; he remains patient and follows his strategies for the fight. Remember his win against Gonzalez? He was losing, but stayed calmed and patient as he waited to for his opponent to make a mistake and once Gonzales did, he landed a vicious body shot immobilized the Mexican champion.

Also, anyone who has followed his career can tell you that he didn’t get the nickname ‘Fearless’ for no reason. The American audience got a taste of that during his fight with Juan Manuel Lopez. Even though he was being overpowered and dominated, he still kept coming and occasionally landed some solid blows on the Puerto Rican star. Even though Lopez was dominating Penalosa, the latter’s perseverance and courage put doubts in Lopez as proven by his comment after the 7th round when he asked his corner if he was winning.

Now Penalosa’s career is winding down, and his accomplishments may have been overshadowed by his countryman’s achievements, but real boxing fans know what he’s done and he’s got nothing to be ashamed of. One of the few fighters who took full advantage of his skills and tried to maximize his potential with the opportunities he was given. No matter what happens from now on, he’s already established himself as one of the legends of Philippine boxing.

(for questions send email to osuarez@fighthype.com, and you can follow me at twitter @sportzhype and facebook)

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15 Responses to “GERRY PENALOSA: THE GREAT FIGHTER THAT YOUNG FILIPINO BOXERS SHOULD EMULATE”

  1. Hector Camacho keeps fighting on (AP) | Sports Headlines Today Says:

    [...] FIGHTHYPE \ Gerry Penalosa: The Great Fighter That Young Filipino … Share this story: [...]

  2. donex7 Says:

    Yes I agree with your article. Mabuhay to Gerry Peñalosa. Mabuhay Philippines.

  3. filipinopride Says:

    i would have to agree. gerry is a great “fighter”. i say fighter because he has a LOT of HEART. he is always ready for a challenge and he doesn’t disappoint, though he’s always on the wrong end of a decision, he’s heart can never be questioned. for me, and i guess for a lot of Filipinos, he is a real champion. we are proud of you champ. you give pride and honor to our country. mabuhay ka gerry!

  4. Duke66 Says:

    The Fearless in Better than the Pacman. He help built and develop the Pacman

  5. isidro Says:

    Penalosa is a treasure for young boxers to emulate.The proven basic and fundamentals are so evident in his style in action and applied well.Pacquiao is now a great fighter b/c coach Roach was able to incorporate to his boxing wares the corrections of his basic knowledge and skills of the same.To sum it up Penalosa is a great by the book fighter and Manny is beyond it and it’s great.

  6. JACK HALL Says:

    FIGHTHYPE
    I THINK PENNALOSA IS THE BEST DEFENSIVE FIGHTERS IN THIS COUNTRY ESPECIALLY WHEN HE FOUGHT BEFORE HE FOUGHT LOPEZ . I THOUGHT HE SHOULD OF RETIRED AFTER HE HAD HIS WORLD(BELT).
    HE SHOULD THE START HIS OWN GYM AND TRAIN FIGHTERS . SOMETIMES THEY CANT STOP , ITS IN THERE BLOOD . I VERY FRIEDLY PINOY AS WELL AS DODY BOY HIS BROTHER.
    THE PRABLEM IS THEY LOSE THIER REPUTATION WHEN THEY CANT GIVE UP THE SPORT . I WILL PRAY THAT HE CAN DO WHAT I WANTED HIM TO DO BACK BEFORE LOPEZ.
    THANKS FOR YOU ATTENTION
    JACK HALL

  7. Mosley the floyd mauler Says:

    Good article oliver,i think jerry needs more recognition for young talents to emulate the attitude that jerry has shown to the world.he’s a treasure to our nation and boxing organization.mabuhay ka jerry!

  8. Duckie Floyd Says:

    At Duke66… Actually if you are going to ask Pacman who is the best technical fighter among Pinoy boxers, he will say without hesitation it is GERRY PENALOSA. Manny admire and proud of him, so we are. Manny’s fighting style makes the difference that is why he is so popular.

  9. eddie boy Says:

    Thank you oliver for your recognition of what gerry has done for boxing. I am one of his fans that has been following his career and technically speaking he is the best there is that Philippines has produced and no doubt up and coming Filipino fighters only have to look at Gerry’s accomplishments and style and work ethics for them to emulate and set on themselves to succeed in boxing.

  10. Marcus Says:

    very very nice article. very very true. i couldnt say it any better than this. gerry peñalosa, if only he had the physical attributes of pacquiao, no doubt he is the perfect boxer in the whole wide world! he had the best technical skills in my opinion…how i wish i saw his fights live! :(

  11. lhan Says:

    I agree..Gerry is the second coming of the original filipino flash,the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde..His loses to In Joo Choo and Mosumori Tokuyama were controversial..If only the then proposed fight against Johnny Tapia did materialize..it could’ve probably been different.I think he could have beaten the likes of Johnny,Paulie Ayala, Rafa Maquez, Tim Austin etc..in his prime.

  12. BRUISESBOBBY Says:

    Gerry has the GAME all fighters need. Patient and fearless, he will never be out of a fight. His last fight with Morel was damn impressive. Blood blinding him, he continued to throw body shots after body shots and could have easily won. THanks for the great fights GERRY!

  13. Victor Manuel Nola Says:

    this is a great tribute to gerry - the real ring tactician, and defense minister.

    i love his fights. i’ve watched every one of em. i love how he covers-up, dodges, it’s very artistic, and effective, too.

    young fighters should really, really, watch his tapes and study his defenses well.

  14. pacfan Says:

    I disagree with your statement. Gerry did okay, but as far as setting a high standards for himself, I don’t think he’s up to par with Manny. He doesn’t really show any tenacity compare to Manny, but he did okay. As a fighter, beside of being fearless, he should also be mentally smart. These two categories should bode well.

  15. feed bunk Says:

    I think you should offer free shipping to Vietnam with your new book. Then I could read. I live in Saigon. Thanks

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