Ryan Songalia

Dave Penalosa continues family tradition with win in Paranaque

PARANAQUE CITY, Philippines – Dave Penalosa may not be as celebrated as his older brother Dodie Boy Jr., but the unbeaten junior featherweight prospect is slowly making a name of his own.

Penalosa, who is the son of former two-division titleholder Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr. and nephew of two-time champion Gerry Penalosa, moved his record to 4-0 (2 knockouts) with a six-round unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Ligas (3-3-1) on Saturday evening at the The Flash Grand Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Complex in Paranaque City, Philippines. The scores were 59-55, 58-56 and 58-57.

Penalosa, a southpaw just like his famous ancestors, exhibited superior speed and reflexes early in the fight, using his footwork to step into range, land quick 1-2-3 combinations and move out of danger before the slower Ligas could return fire. Penalosa, 21, of Cebu City, didn’t seem very interested in scoring a knockout in this, his first assignment scheduled for six rounds. Instead he boxed in and out, often dropping his hands to his side, ala Sergio Martinez, to entice Ligas, 19, of Mandaluyong City to make a move so he could counter.

The sixth round was the most exciting as Penalosa engaged in close range, taking punches in return but landing effectively to the body with his straight left.

Gerry Penalosa approved of the performance, even though his nephew failed to produce a knockout.

“It was a great learning experience for him,” said G. Penalosa, who said it isn’t fair to compare Dave to himself at the six-round level because Dave had just 15 amateur bouts while he himself amassed over 100.

“In his last fight, Dave was aggressive; now his father is teaching him to outbox his opponents,” concluded G. Penalosa, who promotes Dave under his own GerryPens Promotions company.

The Penalosas are considered the first family of Filipino boxing, with Carl Penalosa Sr., the father of Gerry and Dodie Boy, having fought professionally in the ’60s. Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr. amassed a record of 31-7-2 (13 KOs) while winning the IBF junior flyweight and flyweight titles. Gerry Penalosa, who retired in 2010, held a record of 55-8-2 (37 KOs) and won the WBC junior bantamweight and WBO bantamweight titles in his career.

Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., 22, is unbeaten at 9-0 (9 KOs) and returns September 8 in Davao City.

Also, junior bantamweight Gabriel Altarejos (12-0, 4 KOs) of Paranaque City maintained his undefeated record with a unanimous decision over Menard Zaragosa (5-8, 3 KOs) by the score of 78-74 on all three cards.


Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel. He can be reached at songaliaboxing@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.

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