The past, present, and future of Philippine boxing gathered for the 17th annual Elorde Awards on Saturday evening.
In a night where upstarts were recognized and legends were honored, it was two-division world champion Gerry Peñalosa who took center stage.
Now T 44 years of age, the proud of son of San Carlos City, Negros Occidental had his fist immortalized together with his brother Dodie Boy Peñalosa, Tacy Macalos, and Rolando Pascua. The Elorde Casting of Fists serves as a tribute to the fighters who have excelled on the world stage — cementing their legacies for the next generation to follow.
“Isang malaking karangalan na maimbitahan dito. Hopefully, next time nandito pa rin ako. More power sa mga Elorde,” the boxing legend told Tiebreaker Times.
During his prime years, Peñalosa, who compiled a 55-8-2 prizefighting record, seamlessly combined heart and wit during his career. He was fearless and, at the same time, perceptive of the endless possibilities in the ring.
But his contributions to the sport that gave him a livelihood were not just limited to his in-ring exploits.
After retiring in 2010, Peñalosa has started to groom the next generation of pugilists as he has started his own gym. Moreover, his nephew Dave is now following in his uncle’s footsteps.
With this newfound mission, the now-trainer believes that the Philippines will continue to produce more champions, with Marlon Tapales, Jerwin Ancajas, and John Riel Casimero leading the next generation.
“Maraming magiging future champions, superstars,” the southpaw shared.
“Kahit hindi man nila mapantayan ang isang Manny Pacquiao, I’m sure na madaming champion at world champion pang darating.”
Peñalosa is quick to warn that it won’t happen overnight, though. Just like the legends and mentors that he looked up to once told him, he stresses that discipline and patience will key this dream.
“Maraming magagaling na boxingero na nakikita natin na maging future superstar. So sana lang [may] disiplina at tiyaga. Darating tayo diyan,” he declared.