Gerry to avenge Boom Boom's loss
- Joaquin M. Henson () - December 22, 2008 - 12:00am

WBO bantamweight champion Gerry Peñalosa said yesterday he’s itching to fight Heriberto Ruiz – the rugged Mexican veteran who recently beat Rey (Boom Boom) Bautista – in a “revenge” match that will serve as a tune-up for his mandatory defense against No. 1 contender Eric Morel in April.

Peñalosa himself will promote the non-title, 10-round bout against Ruiz and plans to stage it in Cebu on Jan. 31 or Feb. 7. He said the undercard will feature featherweight Michael Farenas against Mexico’s Hector Velazquez, unbeatean Bohol-born WBO Oriental superbantamweight titlist Ciso Morales against an unnamed Mexican and IBF No. 5 lightflyweight Bert Batawang against No. 6 Carlos (El Olimpico) Tamara of Colombia in a title eliminator.

“Ruiz is supposed to be a tough guy,” said Peñalosa. “If he gave Boom Boom a boxing lesson, I’ll teach him a few lessons of my own.”

Ruiz, 31, has won five of his last six outings and his upset over Bautista in Las Vegas last month is expected to catapult him into the world’s top 10 ratings. His record is 40-7-2, with 23 KOs, compared to Peñalosa’s 53-6-2, with 36 KOs.

Bautista will likely be at ringside when Peñalosa takes on Ruiz. Peñalosa said he is dedicating the fight to Bautista whom he insisted will someday become a world champion.

Peñalosa said Cebu promoter Sammy Gello-ani is now clearing the fight with the WBO since sanction is necessary even if no title will be at stake. Gello-ani, who has wide international connections, assured Peñalosa he will deliver Ruiz as an opponent.

Peñalosa said he will fly to Los Angeles after celebrating New Year’s Day here to train under Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym for three weeks. His goal is to work back in shape for the defense against Morel, a former world champion. Peñalosa hasn’t fought since knocking out Ratanachai Sor Vorapin in eight rounds at the Araneta Coliseum last April.

Peñalosa also said he is promoting a Mandaluyong card on Dec. 27 featuring Farenas against Thailand’s Sudan Thosen and former two-time world titlist Dodie Boy Peñalosa’s son Dodie Boy Jr. in his bantamweight pro debut against Jun Hendrick Dunes.

Farenas, 24, is a hard-hitting Sorsogon southpaw who is the jewel in Peñalosa’s stable. He has a 23-2-2 record, with 20 KOs, and boasts of two KO wins in Las Vegas. Thosen’s record is 18-4.

Peñalosa said his nephew Dodie Boy Jr., 18, was ticketed to make his pro debut in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Oscar de la Hoya main event last Dec. 6 but failed to get a US visa. The two-time national amateur champion is known as “Marvelous Pacquiao.”

Peñalosa said the Cebu card will start off the year with a bang. Bringing in Velazquez, who has won eight of his last nine, will be a big test for Farenas. Velazquez was stopped by Pacquiao in Los Angeles in 2005 but came back to defeat the Filipino icon’s brother Bobby on a disqualification a year later.

Peñalosa said even as he is now preparing for life after boxing, he just can’t shake off the lure of the ring. At 36, Peñalosa said he is still a hungry fighter with dreams of challenging unbeaten WBO superbantamweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez of Puerto Rico and facing Daniel Ponce de Leon in a rematch.

Peñalosa now runs his own boxing gym in Kamuning where he will host a press conference this morning.

Peñalosa and wife Goody recently launched a new whitening soap called Kojic, now available in SM and Watson’s stores nationwide. The soap comes in three colorways (pink, green, blue-and-white) and four versions (normal, sensitive, glutathione, placenta) at a price range of P65 (for normal) to P90 (for placenta). The soap is manufactured in Antipolo using a Japanese formula and Japanese raw materials.

A billboard in Cubao promoting Kojic soap shows Peñalosa and Goody with the tagline “Behind every knockout is a beauty that glows.”

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