Cebu’s Dodie Boy Peñalosa, Jr and Ernie Sanchez of General Santos were the lone bright spots in a gloomy day for Philippine boxing as they carved separate victories yesterday in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Manuel Marquez match at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, USA.
In his U.S. debut, Peñalosa scored a second-round knockout win over Jesus Lule of Florida while Sanchez defeated Coy Evans of Philadelphia by unanimous decision in a non-televised undercard bout.
Their victories somehow gave the Filipinos a ray of light after losses by Pacquiao, Mercito Gesta and Michael Fareñas.
Peñalosa showed good lateral movement and picked his moments to land effective counters and floor Lule in the second round.
Lule actually had Peñalosa on the ropes in the second but Dodie Jr. fired a perfect counter right hook that downed Lule. Referee Jay Nady signalled the end at the 1:12 mark.
Lule dropped to his fifth loss in twelve bouts while Peñalosa remained unbeaten and improved to 10-0, with all his wins via knockouts. He celebrated his win inside the ring together with his father Diosdado ‘Dodie Boy’ Peñalosa and his uncle and promoter Gerry Peñalosa, who are both former two-division world champions.
Sanchez, meanwhile, improved to 14-3 (win-loss) with five knockouts after the judges scored the eight-round bout at 78-73, 78-73 and 78-74, in favor of the Filipino.
Evans dropped to 10-2-1 (win-loss-draw) with two KOs.
Gesta suffered his first career loss after being outboxed by IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vasquez of Mexico after 12 rounds.
Gesta was visibly frustrated as he had trouble with his opponent’s lateral movement and long reach.
The southpaw from Mandaue City was at the receiving end of the Mexican’s jabs all night. The scores were 117-111, 119-109 and 118-110.
Gesta dropped to 26-1-1 with 14 KOs while Vasquez improvef to 34-3 with 13 KOs.
Fareñas of Sorsogon, on the other hand, put up a gallant effort but came up short in his bid to take the vacant WBA interim superfeatherweight title against the unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa of Cuba.
Despite scoring one knockdown each in the second and seventh rounds, Gamboa had his hands full against Fareñas, who kept charging even when the Filipino was bleeding from a cut on his left eyebrow.
Fareñas shocked a wild-swinging Gamboa with a left hook in round nine that put him down on the canvas. But the Cuban survived the round and Fareñas’ late onslaught to win by the scores of 117-109, 118-108, 117-108.
This was the 22nd win for Gamboa with 16 KOs. Fareñas suffered his fourth career loss with 34 wins (26 KOs) and four draws.
In the main event, Juan Manuel Marquez put Pacquiao out cold with a short but powerful right hand in the sixth round.
Pacquiao was ahead by a point on the cards of the three judges when Referee Kenny Bayless signalled the end with only a second left in the round.