From left: Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr., Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., Gerry Penalosa
Filipino junior featherweight prospect Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. will face journeyman Jesus Lule in an eight-round bout on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV undercard on December 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to promoter Gerry Penalosa.
Penalosa Jr. (9-0, 9 KOs) of Cebu City, Philippines, comes from a famous fighting family. He is the son of former IBF junior flyweight and flyweight titleholder Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr., as well as the nephew of former WBC junior bantamweight and WBO bantamweight titleholder Gerry Penalosa. His uncle Jonathan Penalosa challenged unsuccessfully for the WBA flyweight title and served briefly as the trainer of Nonito Donaire Jr., while his grandfather Carl Penalosa was a two-time Philippine champion during a professional career in the ’60s.
The 23-year-old Penalosa Jr. went 27-0 as an amateur while attending Cebu City’s Southwestern University on a boxing scholarship, but never fought internationally. He has spent the last several months training alongside Pacquiao, first in General Santos City, Philippines, and now at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
This will be Penalosa’s first fight outside of his native country, and first bout since April when he stopped Indonesian Alex Buckie in nine rounds. After the bout, which was Penalosa’s first time going past four rounds, Penalosa complained of shortness of breath and was briefly observed at a local hospital.
The 28-year-old Lule (6-4, 1 KO) of Fort Myers, Fla., has won his last five bouts after starting his career 1-4.
Fellow Filipinos Mercito Gesta (26-0-1, 14 KOs) and Michael Farenas (34-3-4, 26 KOs) will also be in action on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard, with Gesta facing IBF lightweight titleholder Miguel Vazquez (32-3, 13 KOs) and Farenas meeting former unified featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.