By Chito Yu Katangkatang
“My stamina has always been a suspect since my loss to Rafael Concepcion. But if they have seen me against Maca Briones, then I am telling you, I will be at a far better condition than that fight. I am ready to go even up to a full fifteen rounder. I have learned my lessons. This is my time. My family is my motivation. This is a make or break fight for me. My opponent should feel nervous. I will try to hurt him round by round.” These were the strong words by bantamweight contender AJ “Bazooka” Banal (28-1-1, 20 KOs) in a Fightnews.com exclusive interview with this scribe.
Banal was a rapid rising prospect until he lost gas in his first world title stint versus Rafael Concepcion of Panama thus losing by TKO. It was a heartbreak for the kid from Ermita Cebu. But that loss made AJ a better fighter. It has served as a great lesson that molded him into a more mature boxer. After many preparatory fights, here comes the big night for Banal, another shot at a world title against Punglung Sorsingyu (42-1, 27 KOs) of Thailand.
“My trainers focused on my stamina, power and speed. Three arsenals which we believe will bring us our most desired world title belt. I know that Singyu is a great fighter. He has conquered a good number of Filipino warriors. But most of his wins were by referee stopped contests. I do not really consider him a knockout artist. He has never faced a fight of my caliber. I am not taking him for granted though. I have learned from my past. One mistake can change the fight. One second of carelessness can knock you out. I will fight an intelligent fight. But I am not saying I won’t knock him out coz I will do my best to do so. I do not only want to win. I want to make a statement,” Banal added.
The Banal-Sor Singyu fight will be for the vacant WBO bantamweight title on Saturday, October 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The referee for the bout will be Tony Weeks from United States. Judges are Robert Hoyle, Levi Martinez and Raul Caiz Jr., all from United States. WBO supervisor for this fight will be Leon Panoncillo.
Pinoy Pride 17 is presented by ALA Promotions and media giant ABS CBN Sports.
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