MANILA, Philippines – Filipino boxers Michael Farenas and Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. will appear on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez, which takes place Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to their promoter, Gerry Penalosa. Their opponents have yet to be determined, but Farenas (34-3-4, 26 knockouts) will fight a ten-round contest, while Penalosa (9-0, 9 KOs) will fight an eight-round bout.
Gerry Penalosa, himself a former two-division world titleholder, said he ironed the deal out with Pacquiao over the phone this week as Farenas and Penalosa Jr., both southpaws, were in General Santos City, Philippines, training alongside the welterweight star.
Farenas, 28, of Sorsogon, Philippines is coming off a three-round technical draw with WBA super featherweight titleholder Takashi Uchiyama in Japan three months ago in a fight that was halted due to an accidental head butt.
Farenas has fought on three previous Pacquiao undercards, scoring knockouts on the second Marquez and Marco Antonio Barrera undercards, but was held to a no-decision on the Joshua Clottey undercard due to a clash of heads. Farenas also fought in Vegas the night before Pacquiao’s fight with Ricky Hatton, knocking out Walter Estrada in one round.
“Of course I’m happy and excited to fight in the United States, it has been a while since I was last there,” said Farenas. “This early (in training) the punches are fast and strong when I hit the bag.”
Penalosa Jr., 22, of Cebu City, is the son of former two-division world titleholder Dodie Boy Penalosa Sr., and the nephew of Gerry Penalosa. He was undefeated in a limited, 27-fight amateur career but has yet to face an opponent with a winning record since turning pro two years ago on a Brian Viloria undercard in Manila. This will be Penalosa Jr.’s first international fight.
“It’s a big support for them because millions of people will watch this fight because Manny Pacquiao is the best pound-for-pound boxer right now,” said Penalosa. “It is a big opportunity for both of them, they’re going to the next level. I hope they’re going to give a good show so the people will recognize them.”
Meanwhile, another set of Filipino boxers — Drian Francisco (23-1-1, 18 KOs) and Jerwin Ancajas (15-1, 8 KOs) — are being discussed for the undercard of WBO flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria’s title unification bout with WBA claimant Hernan Marquez on Nov. 17 at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles. Ancajas’ manager Joven Jimenez said he expects details to be finalized next week for the show, which was announced at a press conference earlier today in L.A.
Translations: Carissa Villacorta
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 [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.