Exclusive Interview: Daniel Ponce De Leon

By Brad Cooney


Exclusive Interview: Daniel Ponce De Leon

Current WBO Super Bantamweight world champion, Daniel Ponce de Leon wants a rematch with The Philippines Gerry Penalosa, but he'll have to get past Reynaldo Lopez first.  Ponce is scheduled to fight a 10 round non title fight against Lopez on September 28th, and it will be televised on TeleFutura.  Ponce makes it very clear in this interview, he wants Penalosa one more time.


BT – What do you know about your opponent Reynaldo Lopez?

DPD – I have never seen him fight, I was looking for some fights on him to study him.  I know he has fought for two world titles, but I have not seen him fight before.

BT – This will not be a world title fight, and it's a 10 round fight, talk about that.

DPD – Golden Boy offered me this fight, my fight with Bautista was very fast, so I didn't want to sit around and wait for two or three months, so I decided to take this fight.

BT – Do you feel that Reynaldo Lopez is ready to step up to your level of fighting?

DPD – I don't really know what level he is at, but fights like this are the most dangerous because you don't know about them, and they come in very hungry.  I am training for this fight just like it's a championship fight.  I am ready for this fight, and in case it goes the distance, I will be prepared to go 10 rounds.

BT – There is a major rivalry between Mexico and The Philippines.  When Mexico was down five to nothing, did you feel any added pressure to win your fight, so that Mexico wasn't shutout?

DPD – At the beginning of the fight I didn't know what the score was, because I turned off my monitor, so I didn't know what the score was.  I was focused on Bautista, but when I came out of my dressing room and found out that Mexico was behind five to zero, I got very angry, and I was very determined to beat Rey Bautista.

BT – So you didn't know what the score was until you were walking to the ring to fight Bautista?

DPD – No, I didn't want to know.  I told everybody not to tell me because I wanted to stay focused on my fight.  When I came out I realized that Jhonny had lost, and I got very angry, I felt that I had to do something.

BT – Do you want a rematch with Gerry Penalosa?

DPD – Yes, actually I asked for the rematch after the world cup at the press conference.  Next time, I will be a different fighter.  I wasn't prepared last time, and this time I will try to knock him out, or hurt him.

BT – This rivalry has grown between the two countries, and some of the fans have become somewhat cocky.  Do you have some satisfaction being that you are undefeated against Filipino fighters?

DPD – I feel satisfied yes, I feel confident, and I feel good to represent my country of Mexico during this rivalry.  I am ready for anybody in line that wants to fight me.

BT – How do you see the fight between the older and wiser Barrera against the younger and stronger Manny Pacquiao?

DPD – Barrera has always been a very smart fighter, and this time he will come out hungrier and will gain that revenge against Pacquiao.  I think Barrera will definitely win this fight.

BT – What are your thoughts about this rivalry between Mexico and The Philippines?

DPD – It's good for the sport, and as we all know Mexico has had a rivalry with Puerto Rico for years.  The only problem I have with it is when you go to another country and get a bad decision because of it.

BT – If the rematch with Penalosa happens, would you rather the fight take place in Mexico?

DPD – It wouldn't matter, USA, Mexico, Philippines, regardless I will be victorious.  I will go to The Philippine's , I am confident and I will beat Penalosa anywhere.

BT – After your fight with Reynaldo Lopez, how quickly do you want a rematch with Penalosa?

DPD – Right now I am very focused and I'm in the gym focusing on Lopez, but after that I will be ready by November or December to fight Penalosa.  But I want to say, I am not looking past Reynaldo Lopez.

BT – Is there any advice that you have for the kids in Mexico and around the world who need some encouragement in life.

DPD – Yes, I want to tell the kids in Mexico and around the world that you have to take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.  If you come across a good opportunity, hold on to it, don't give up because you will get somewhere.  I want to tell the kids to stay off of drugs, and stay away from gangs.

*Special thanks to Jose Gutierrez for translating this interview.


Send questions and comments to: bradcooney1@bellsouth.net