by James Slater: Going into his last fight, Mexican puncher Daniel Ponce de Leon was the reigning WBO super-bantamweight champion. Less than three minutes into his defence against the unbeaten, emerging Puerto Rican star that is Juan Manuel Lopez, everything changed for de Leon. Smashed to a sensational defeat at just 2 mins and 25 seconds of the very first round, the 28-year-old southpaw was an ex-champion..
Now looking for a way back, de Leon, according to an article on PhilBoxing.com, has called out Filipino Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista for a return match.
“Ponce de Leon told me he wants to fight “Boom Boom” again, ” said Golden Boy Promotions’ vice-president Eric Gomez. “I think if that fight takes place in The Philippines, that will be huge.”
The Mexican slugger beat Bautista last year, blowing him away in less than one round of a fight staged in Sacramento. Since then, however, the two fighters have experienced differing fortunes. 22-year-old Bautista bounced back with two wins, collecting and then defending the WBO Inter-Continental belt, respectively. While since his 1st round KO of “Boom Boom” de Leon has also won two fights, defending his WBO world title in one of them – before suffering the shock KO at the hands of fellow lefty “Juanma.” Who wins if the Mexican and the Filipino meet again?
Firstly, Bautista, 25-1(18) has to win his next fight, scheduled for August 30th in The Philippines, against Eden Marquez. But assuming the 22-year-old comes through that bout okay, the rematch with de Leon could be on. The Mexican has no next fight planned as of yet, and wants to fight the man he has already KO’d. The Filipino people want the fight, too. Feeling their hero was merely caught cold, Bautista’s fans think he can do better in a rematch and get a win this time around. Can he?
Seeing de Leon, 34-2(30) blown away so effortlessly by Lopez back in June certainly diminished the Mexican’s prowess as a fighter. But having said that, the 28-year-old could well do the same thing to the young “Boom Boom” that he did the last time they met. Indeed, both men, to a degree, are coming off 1st round KO losses. For although Bautista has notched up two wins since his quick annihilation, a rematch with de Leon would be the real acid test. Will Bautista come in gun-shy? Will de Leon for that matter?
The fight offers Bautista a chance at revenge, the fight offers de Leon a chance to rebuild his reputation as one of the best punchers out there. A KO win for either man cannot be ruled out, but I Pick de Leon to do another number on the six-years younger man – only this time Bautista may last a few rounds longer.