Ryan Songalia

Sonsona, D. Penalosa score KOs in Mandaluyong City

MANDALUYONG CITY – Filipino junior featherweights Eden Sonsona and Dave Penalosa scored dominant knockout victories against outgunned Thai opponents on Saturday night at the Mandaluyong Gym in Mandaluyong City, Philippines.

Sonsona (29-6, 9 knockouts) of General Santos City looked in top form as he scored a one punch knockout of Petchnamnung Sithsaithong (9-3, 7 KOs) from Thailand at 1:54 of the second round, keeping his up-and-down career afloat for another shot at the top. Sonsona, 23, dropped the slower Sithsaithong moments into the second stanza with a left cross. Sithsaithong, 21, made it to his feet but was back on the floor for good after a devastating right hook landed flush on his jaw, bringing the bout to an immediate halt.

Sonsona, who is the cousin of former WBO 115-pound titleholder Marvin Sonsona, has shown glimpses of potential in his eight year career, but admits that substance abuse issues have hampered him. After losing by ninth round knockout to Jonathan Oquendo in Puerto in 2009, Sonsona racked up two stay busy victories in 2011 but hadn’t fought since last October.

“He promised me no more [problems],” said manager Ian Bicera, who has had three tours of duty with Sonsona. Bicera hopes to get Sonsona a few more victories before he fights in Thailand or Japan again for bigger challenges.

Penalosa (5-0, 3 KOs) also had few problems handling his Thai opponent Yodpichai Sithsaithong (7-6, 3 KOs) with ease before dropping him for the count with a right hook at the 2:05 mark of the fourth round. The southpaw Penalosa, 21, of Cebu City stalked the reticent Sithsaithong, 22, who was fighting in the junior featherweight division despite having lost a fight at 112 just a month earlier.

Penalosa was finally able to open his opponent up in round two, landing hard body shots with both hands, followed by right uppercuts and right hooks. Penalosa’s body work opened up Sithsaithong for the coup de grace, a skill he learned from his father and trainer, the former light flyweight and flyweight titleholder Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr.

“He fights just like me,” said the proud father, whose pro record was 31-7-2 (13 KOs). “We need more practice because there’s many things we have to work on. He sometimes has a lack of defense.”

Despite both Thai fighters being named Sithsaithong, they are of no relation. It’s a common practice for fighters to adopt the surnames of their promoter or gym.

Dave comes from the first family in Philippine boxing; Gerry Penalosa, Dave’s uncle, held the WBC super flyweight and WBO bantamweight titles, while his other uncle Jonathan Penalosa was 15-4-1 (7 KOs) and challenged Yong-Kang Kim for the WBA flyweight title in 1992. Dave’s brother Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. is also an unbeaten 122 pound prospect with a 9-0 (9 KOs) record, while his grandfather Carl Penalosa Sr. was a Philippine champion in the ’60s.

In super flyweight action, Jimmy Aducal (5-1-2, 4 KOs) of Manila turned the tides following a lackluster round one to score a one punch knockout of Rolando Niones (4-11-1, 2 KOs) of Paranaque City at 2:15 of the second round. Aducal, 21, of the XCon Gym landed one overhand left cross on the chin as Niones backed up, dropping him for the ten count.

The show was promoted by Gerry Penalosa’s GerryPens Promotions.

 

 

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 and can be reached at ryan@ryansongalia.com. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.

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