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Viva Ponce de Leon!

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)

By Bill Tibbs


After losing on Saturday June 7th via ninth round TKO against Miguel Roman, former world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon has retired. The latest loss puts him at three stoppage losses in his last four fights, a series that also saw him take five trips to the canvas. But the former world champion leaves the sport at 45-7 (35) with a legacy as an exciting, action brawler who thrilled audiences on most nights when he stepped into the ring.
 
Daniel turned pro in the spring of 2001 after representing Mexico in the 2000 Sydney, Australia Olympics. He then rang off 24 straight wins taking him into 2004 but lost his next fight in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight title eliminator to Celestino Caballero. However, in October of 2005, Ponce de Leon would capture the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title and defend it six times into 2008 before he was stopped by Juan Manuel Lopez in their first round. Over the next two years, he would pick up seven wins along with capturing the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) featherweight title and the World Boxing Council (WBC) Latino featherweight title. However, he would lose his only two fights of 2011.

Ponce de Leon was beaten by Adrien Broner over 10 rounds in a very close fight in March of 2011. Six months later, he was stopped by Yuriorkis Gamboa in eight rounds. The Chihuahua, Mexico-born champ came back in 2012 with three straight wins, the third being a win for the WBC world featherweight title, an eight-round technical decision over Jhonny Gonzalez. However, in his first title defense in May of last year, Ponce de Leon was stopped in nine rounds by Abner Mares. However, he came back six months later to close out the year with a victory.
 
Daniel kicked off this year with a bout in March but was stopped by former world champion Juan Manuel Lopez in two rounds in Puerto Rico for the vacant WBO International super featherweight title. He then returned last Saturday night against former world title challenger Miguel “Mickey” Roman but was ultimately stopped in nine rounds.
 
But in retrospect, the tough California resident and champion said he “retires with a great taste in my mouth thanks to all of your support.” He can also look back on a 52-fight, multiple title-winning career and be secure in the fact that he provided fight fans with many thrills over his 13-year career.
 
Tough, talented and always exciting, viva Daniel Ponce de Leon!
 
Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca.
 
 
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