By: Christopher Roche
WBO super bantamweight champion Daniel Ponce de Leon did not need the fountain of youth to retain his title tonight in Sacramento, CA. Ponce de Leon used a vicious straight left hand to knockout formerly undefeated Rey Bautista. The bout was televised on HBO’s “Boxing After Dark”.
The 27 year-old Ponce de Leon stalked the formidable challenger and nailed him with a right-left combination about two thirds of the way through round one. Bautista, 21, had a delayed reaction wobble into the ropes. Bautista’s legs were gone after the knockdown, and Ponce de Leon jumped on him and knocked him down again with a left that was partially blocked. The referee waived the bout off after the second knockdown. The Mexican Ponce de Leon showed impressive power as he moved to 32-1, 29 KO’s and Bautista of the Philippines dropped to 23-1, 17 KO’s.
On a night that featured Mexico vs. Philippines, Jhonny Gonzalez was on his way to a victory for Mexico, when he ran into a hard liver shot from Gerry Penalosa in the seventh round. Penalosa connected with a left that sent Gonzalez sprawling to the canvas. Gonzalez immediately spit out his mouthpiece, and he was counted out on one knee. Penalosa’s knockout was similar to Ricky Hatton’s knockout over Jose Luis Castillo. The 25 year-old Gonzalez fell to 34-6, 29 KO’s and Penalosa, 35, improved to 52-6-2, 35 KO’s. Penalosa took home the WBO bantamweight title.
Golden Boy Promotions capitalized on the rich boxing tradition of Sacramento, CA to stage an excellent show. The show pitted Mexican fighters against Filipino fighters, and the Filipino’s won by a margin of 5-1. However, Ponce de Leon took home the grand prize for Mexico in the main event.