January 2, 2000
SEOUL, KOREA-Unbeaten footworker INJOO CHO, 114, Korea, barely kept his
WBC super-flyweight throne, as he defeated ex-champ GERRY PENALOSA, a
hard-hitting Filipino lefty, 114 3/4, by a split decision over 12 dull
Some 1,500 fans were in attendance at Sheraton Walkerhill Hotel to see
Cho face the ex-champ from whom the Korean captured the WBC title. But
it resulted in a very lousy fight.
Scored: Tony Castellano (US) 115-112 and Ken Morita (Japan) 116-113,
both for Cho, and Anek Hongtonkam (Thailand) 115-114 for Penalosa.
The shorter Penalosa made a good start as he scored a big southpaw right
to the face and had the champ staggering in the opening session. But
Cho, making his 4th defense since dethroning Penalosa at the same ball
room in 1998, kept his footwork busy enough to frustrate the lefty
Filipino and take back the initiative.
The 5'7" Cho, some 3 inches taller, caught Penalosa with a countering
shot and almost floored the willing mixer in the 5th. Penalosa kept
stalking but pitifully failed to throw effective shots, while Cho kept
moving and peppering him with light but fast combinations.
The 10th round saw referee Martin Denkin (US) penalize a point from
Penalosa for his corner's negligence to wipe the wet and slippery canvas
despite his repeated warnings, when Cho badly slipped down time and
again in the 9th and 10th.
Penalosa was desperate to catch and finish the champ with a flurry of
punches, but Cho was so clever as to grab the shorter rival with his
longer arms to avert his blitzkrieg. The Korean scored positive rallies
to win an important point in the final stanza.
Cho raised his mark to 17-0, 7 KOs. Penalosa, who should have thrown
more punches in the close quarter, dropped to 40-3, 25 KOs.
Promoter: Kusung Lee's Poong San Promotions.
WBA supervisor: Chandru Lalwani (Indonesia).
PS There were only two effective punches seen in the lousy fight;
Penalosa's right shot in the first round and Cho's counter in the 5th.
Penalosa was an aggressor going forward to try to catch the fast-moving
champ, but failed to throw enough punches to win points. Cho, on the
contrary, threw very light but more punches to the peek-a-boo stylist.
Had Penalosa applied a "go-for-broke" attack, he might have been able to
catch the tricky and smart footworker. It was a close fight, but Cho,
in a sense, was successful in averting Penalosa's lethal shots with his
constant footwork and his good defensive skills all the way.
If you wish to refer to my previous reports, please access to: