Chance for Banal-A A +A
Thursday, September 27, 2012
THE PHILIPPINES will once again defend its turf next month against foreign invaders in one of the biggest boxing events in the country this year that features a world title fight, six foreign fighters and a grandson of a Filipino boxing legend.
“This event will finally put a stamp that Philippine boxing has arrived,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said of the upcoming “Pinoy Pride XVII – The Philippines vs. The World” at the 16,000-seater SM Mall of Asia Arena on Oct. 20.
The blockbuster boxing show is headlined by a world title fight between AJ “Bazooka” Banal (28-1-1, 20 KOs) and Thai Pungluang Sor Singyu (42-1, 27 KOs) for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown.
“My training is doing okay. I’m conditioned and ready to fight,” said the 24-year-old Cebuano Banal.
Renowned boxing referee Tony Weeks, who has officiated 47 world title fights, is slated to be the man in the middle, while the judges are Levi Martinez, Raul Caiz Jr. and Robert Hoyle.
The two main supporting bouts also have titles on the line. Former world champion Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista (33-2, 25 KOs) guns for the vacant WBO International featherweight crown against Mexican Daniel Ruiz (27-5-2, 19 KOs), while WBO International light welterweight king Jason Pagara (29-2, 18 KOs) defends his crown against unbeaten Miguel Antoine (17-0-1, 9 KOs).
Bautista hopes to improve his world rankings with a win for a possible crack at WBO featherweight titlist Orlando Salido or a rematch with recently crowned World Boxing Council featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce de Leon.
The undercard features gatekeeper Michael Domingo (44-16-2, 23 KOs) against Ugandan Mudde Ntabe Rabison (19-2-1, 7 KOs); up-and-comer Marlon Tapales (19-1, 6 KOs) versus Indonesian Rasmanudin (15-2-2, 8 KOs); Randy Bullong against Japanese Kazuma Ejiri; Arjan Canillas (7-0, 5 KOs) versus Jake Sawangin (2-4-1, 2 KOs); and the late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde’s grandson Juan Martin Elorde (12-1, 5 KOs) against a yet-to-be-named opponent.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 28, 2012.