By Lee Bates
Having won world titles at 115 pounds and 118 pounds WBO batamweight champion Gerry Penalosa (54-6-2,36 KOs) will seek his third world title in as many divisions. To do so he will have to defeat heavily favored WBO junior featherweight champion Juan Manuel ‘Juanma’ Lopez (24-0, 22 KOs) this Saturday in Lopez’ homeland of Puerto Rico. A very confident Penalosa spoke with fightnews on adapting to both a time difference and climate of Puerto Rico, dealing with Lopez’ power, and his feeling very strong at 122 pounds.
How are you adapting to the climate here in Puerto Rico?
It was an easy transition for me as this weather is very similar to my country of the Philippines where I reside.
How have you adjusted to the time change here in the Puerto Rico as it is signifcantly different from the Philippines?
I actually trained for this fight in Los Angeles and by the time I fight on Saturday I would have been in Puerto Rico for close to a week so I will be fully adjusted by fight time.
Any concerns on dealing with the power of Lopez?
To me he is just a basic fighter. I’ve seen it all in my career and I’m confident I will defeat him.
Do you feel with the extra weight you’ve put on you’ll be stronger?
The extra weight will actually work in my favor as I will be much stronger at 122 pounds. It will show on Saturday night and I’m confident I will win the world title.
* * *
The event titled ‘Champion vs Champion’ is being promoted by Top Rank and PR Best Boxing (Ivan & Peter Rivera). HBO will televise the event live Saturday April 25th from the Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. In the televised semi-main event, Top Rank’s Lamont Peterson (26-0, 12 KOs) will take on Universum Box-Promotion’s Willy Blain (20-0, 3 KOs) in a 12 round bout for the WBO interim junior welterweight title. Tickets can still be purchased by calling the Ticket Center at (787) 792-5000.