Unbeaten Filipino prospects Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr., and Dave Penalosa will see action on April 6 on the historic boxing event at the Venetian Casino & Resort in Macau, says their uncle Gerry Penalosa. The brothers were slated to fight March 23 in the Philippines but pulled out to focus on this event instead.
The event, headlined by WBA/WBO flyweight titleholder Brian Viloria’s title defense against Juan Francisco Estrada, will be promotional company Top Rank’s first foray into professional boxing in China.
Penalosa Jr., (10-0, 10 knockouts), of Cebu City, Philippines, will face Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-8-1, 5 KOs), of Bangkok, Thailand in an eight-round junior featherweight fight. Penalosa Jr., 23, is coming off an impressive showing on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV undercard in December when he knocked out journeyman Jesus Lule in two rounds with one right hook in his American debut.
The 22-year-old Dave Penalosa (5-0, 3 KOs), also of Cebu City, will face Cheroenchai Sithsaithong (4-3, 3 KOs) of Bangkok in a six-round bout.
The Penalosa brothers are the third generation of an accomplished fighting family. Their uncle Gerry Penalosa held the WBC junior bantamweight and WBO bantamweight titles, while their father Dodie Boy Sr., is a former IBF junior flyweight and flyweight titleholder. Their other uncle Jonathan Penalosa challenged unsuccessfully for the WBA flyweight title and served briefly as the trainer of Nonito Donaire Jr., while their grandfather Carl Penalosa was a two-time Philippine champion during a professional career in the ’60s.
The stacked card will feature WBO junior lightweight titleholder Roman Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs) of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico in his second title defense against Diego Magdaleno (23-0, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nev., plus junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs) against Javier Francisco Maciel (25-2, 18 KOs) and former WBO junior featherweight titleholder Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., (22-2-1, 19 KOs) against Yasutaka Ishimoto (21-6, 5 KOs).
Also slated for the card is the pro debut of Zou Shiming, who won the gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games in the light flyweight division, plus Filipino flyweight contender Milan Melindo (28-0, 11 KOs) of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines against Indonesian Tommy Seran (23-1, 14 KOs).
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at [email protected]. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.