Saturday, January 23, 2010

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Dodie Boy Peñalosa Jr. pro debut on January 23

He bears a surname that is an institution in Philippine boxing. His grandfather, Carl is a former Philippine lightweight and jr.welterweight champ during the 1960's. His uncle Jonathan was a former WBC international flyweight king (1990) and currently a boxing trainer while another uncle, Gerry, won two world titles WBC superflyweight (1997-98) and WBO bantamweight (2007-2009).

His father, Dodie, despite having one shorter leg due to childhood polio, was the first Filipino boxer to win two world titles at two different weights IBF It. flyweight (1983-85) and IBF flyweight (1987).

The family tree is enough to put pressure on the 19 year old Dodie Boy Peñalosa, Jr. when he makes his six round professional debut in the undercard of Brian Viloria's second title defense against Carlos Tamara of Colombia on January 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
He is currently trained and managed by his father but they are still clueless who the opponent will be.

Dodie, Jr. is a southpaw and will be fighting at 122 lbs. but the elder Peñalosa plans to have his son campaign at 118 in subsequent fights. He has been boxing as an amateur for four years and has won the gold twice in national tournament. His name was mentioned in the sports pages last year because he was being recruited to join the national team. He was hyped as having the genetic predisposition to win Olympic gold. But after a couple of months he got homesick and preferred to be close to his family while subsequently planning to turn pro.

Dodie Jr., is the eldest of three siblings and a second year mechanical engineering student at Southwestern University. He hopes to continue his studies if the school allows him to take fewer units per semester. He is currently only 4 lbs. over the superbantamweight limit.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao was reportedly impressed with the younger Peñalosa and offered to bring him to the US but Dodie, Sr. does not want to rush things and plans to observe his son's progress one fight at a time.

Growing up in a boxing family guarantees solid basics. It also carries the weight of high expectations. But one thing for sure, another Peñalosa in the ring will make the local boxing scene very interesting in 2010.

Rate Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So

At the Rate Filipino Grandmaster Wesley So is playing, 2010 could be his year too.

At 16 and already the country's highest-rated chess player ever, So continued to raise his level of excellence with an Elo of 2656 based on the Jan. 1 ratings released by the World Chess Federation (Fide).

Buoyed by his strong showing in the recent World Chess Cup in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia where he eliminated former world championship finalists Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine and Gata Kamsky of the United States, So earned 16 points to boost his old Elo of 2640 in November.

The Elo 2656the highest-ever achieved by a Filipino player in historylifted the world rating of the high school student of St. Francis College to No. 76 in a tie with GM Boris Avrukh of Israel.

So also moved up to No. 6 among the world's top junior players, two notches higher than his previous position in the September quarterly rating of Fide.
The Filipino trails only junior GMs Magnus Carlssen (Elo 2810) of Norway, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (2730) of France, Sergey Karjakin (2720) of Russia, Fabiano Caruana (2675) of Italy and Ian Nepomniactchi (2658 ) of Russia.

The multi-awarded campaigner from Bacoor, Cavite also moved up to No. 8 overall in Asia and retained No. 1 in the world under-16 category.

More importantly, So's dramatic rise also enabled the Philippines to move up to No. 29 among chess-playing nation in the worldup by five notches from 34th in the previous quarterly list.

"I'm very happy for my achievements in the previous year. I hope 2010 will be just as good to me," said So, who is scheduled to leave for Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands on Jan. 13 to compete in Group B in the Corus (formerly Hoogovens) tournament.

National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president and chair Prospero "Butch" Pichay lauded So for his newest achievement, saying his success a welcome gift to the country and the Filipino people for the new year.

So's World Cup teammates, GMs Rogelio Antonio, Jr. and Darwin Laylo, kept second and third places, respectively, in the country's list of top players.

Antonio, who lost to Kamsky in the first round of the World Cup, has an Elo of 2572two points down from his all-time best of 2574 in the November rating list. He is listed No. 34 in Asia and No. 311 in the world.

World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight king Donnie Nietes

World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight king Donnie Nietes will be facing a more dangerous foe in his fourth title-defense in the Solar Sports "Boxing at the Bay" on Jan. 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City as former world title contender Sammy Gutierrez steps in and replaces fellow Mexican Ivan Meneses.

After a brief discussion with world-renowned matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz, ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said Gutierrez, 24, will act as Meneses's last-minute replacement because the latter backed out with just 19 days away from the world title bout.

"Ivan Meneses can't come to the Philippines. I think he didn't want to fight outside of Mexico because he didn't agree with the terms of the fight. For some reason he called off the fight," Aldeguer.

This is the second time Meneses turned down a fight in the Philippines. The first was his fight with Milan Melindo in the first installment of "Boxing at the Bay" last year. He was replaced, also at the last minute, by fellow Mexican Guadalupe Martinez.

"There are things in boxing that you can't control and this is one of them," said Aldeguer of the sudden change of opponent.

Nietes's team will be making a few changes in their preparation as they need to change their strategy. They will also look at videos of Gutierrez's previous fights.

Although this is just Gutierrez's second fight outside of Mexico, he has fought some of the best fighters in the lower weight divisions.

Gutierrez, also known as Guty, has a record of 22-5-2 with 13 knockouts. He fought and gave unbeaten International Boxing Federation mini-flyweight champion Raul Garcia three competitive bouts. Their first fight in 2006 ended in a draw while in the next two bouts in 2007 and 2009, Garcia escaped with two close decisions.

He also fought former world champion Omar Niño, undefeated South African Nkosinathi Joyi and bet Meneses in 2008 via unanimous decisions.

"This will be a tough fight because Gutierrez is more than willing to come here to the Philippines and fight for a world title. They believe they can win this fight," he said.

In Nietes's last two fights, he beat two Mexicans Erik Ramirez and Manuel Vargas both in Mexico a feat that no other Filipino world champion has achieved.

Salazar Farms basketeers of barangay Dipatlong, Maribojoc

Dipatlong clinches MCBL crown anew

MARIBOJOC. He did it agan!
Amidst the thunderous applause of their avid fans and supporters, the Salazar Farms basketeers of barangay Dipatlong, this town proved Wednesday night their superiority over Exaltacion in their final encounter at the Maribojoc Cultural and Sports Center here.

The champions outsmarted their rivals successively in their best-of-three series to get the coveted crown of the 49th Maribojoc Christmas Basketball League (MCBL). The final score: ___.

The victory-conscious Anislag cagers settled for third place at the expense of the Aup-Aup Restaurant. Anislag bulldozed the Pantalan boys Tuesday night in a thrill-packed game that ended.

Lanky Salazar Farms mainstay Bobong Delarmente an earned his second all-around player, earned his second Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
On the other hand, Ryan Tenajora (Anislag), Jesse Alde (Anislag), Noel Almedilla (Exaltacion) Arvin Juntilla (Salazar Farms) and again, Bobong Delarmente proudly walked to center court Tuesday to claim their respective medals, as members of the Mythical Five.

Meanwhile, Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. profusely thanked the following for a job well done.

Earstwhile DepEd Supervisor Florante Evasco, municipal Sports Development facilitator; former DILG Training Officer Godofredo Fuertes, municipal public info officer; MCBL Commissioners Edgar Tutor, Dodong Bengalao and Bobong Valles.

Court Arbiters Barding Visarra, Dennis Seloterio and Kroswell Operiano of the Bohol Association of Professional Referees.

MCBL 2009 table officials Noel Alcoseba, Kemuel Cornito, Joseph Hugo, Domino Veloso and Glen Yap.

The Maribojoc Christmas Basketball League concededly Bohol's oldest celebrates its golden anniversary some December this year.

Nonito Donaire,Sr. will leave for the U.S. to train two prominent Filipino boxers

Highly Respected trainer Nonito Donaire,Sr. will leave for the U.S. to train two prominent Filipino boxers figuring in world title bouts this February.

Ciso "Kid Terrible" Morales of Talibon, Bohol will challenge Mexico's Fernando Montiel for the WBO bantamweight crown on Feb. 13 in Las Vegas while former WBO superflyweight champ Marvin Sonsona of Gen. Santos City will move up two divisions higher and face Wilfredo Vasquez,Jr. for the vacant WBO superbantamweight world title in Puerto Rico on Feb. 17.

Donaire left on Jan. 3 and will train at the Kennel Boxing Gym at San Leandro, California.
PSonsona's long time trainer Jun Agrabio will once again join forces with Donaire,Sr. in whipping Marvin back to his usual fighting form.

Agrabio said that he will try his best, together with Donaire to push Sonsona and bring his focus back.

Donaire, Morales and Sonsona will be going ahead and Agrabio will join them once he gets his U.S. visa.

Morales (14-0, 8 KOs) won a majority eight round decision over Mexico's Miguel Gonzales in Canada last November. He will have to bridge a wide experience gap over Montiel (39W-2L-2D, 29KOs), who narrowly escaped with his title against Z Gorres in 2007.

If Sonsona beats Vasquez, he will be the youngest Filipino in history to win two world titles at two different weight divisions at 19 years, six months and 23 days. The Puerto Rican Vasquez (17 W-0 L -1 D, 14 KOs) however, will have the home court advantage.

Sonsona won the WBO superflyweight title over Jose Lopez of Puerto Rico last September 2009 but lost his title after being 2.6 lbs overweight in his first defense against Alejandro Hernandez of Mexico in a fight that ended in a split draw.

Conflict between WBA interim titlist Nonito Donaire Jr. and his father

The celebration of Christmas and New Year passed by but the feud between WBA interim titlist Nonito Donaire Jr. and his father Nonito Sr. Continues.

Instead of reconciling with his son, Nonito Sr. instead train two other pinoy pugs, including townmate Ciso Morales in their fights abroad. (see separate stories) Nonito Donaire Jr., has hooked up with the trainer of compatriot Brian Villoria to prepare him for the defense of his World Boxing Association Interim Super Flyweight crown against Mexico's Gerson Guerrero on February 13, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Donaire said that Robert Garcia, a former IBF Super Featherweight champion-turned trainer, will help prepare his mental game against Guerrero. Garcia, who also counts Steven Luevano, Victor Ortiz and Joan Guzman among his fighters, is credited for guiding Viloria back to boxing elite.

Under Garcia, Viloria managed to rediscover his competitive fire and snag the IBF light-flyweight strap from long-time champ Ulises Solis last April via 11th round knock out. He retained the strap with a unanimous decision disposal of Mexico's Jesus Iribe four months later in Hawaii.

The Penalosa brothers, Jonathan and Dodie Boy, who trained Donaire when he won the WBA Interim crown over an overweight Rafael Concepcion of Panama last August, will still be around and will join hands with Mike Bazzel in whipping Donaire into shape for the bout.