The CyberBoxingZone News

Joe Koizumi

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 rounds.

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.


Joe Koizumi

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