Banal loses again-A A +A
Sunday, October 21, 2012
PASAY CITY -- History repeats itself.
AJ “Bazooka” Banal once again blew his chance of becoming a world champion, suffering the same fate as four years ago. Last night, Banal was knocked out by Thai Pungluang Sor Singyu in their World Boxing Organization bantamweight bout at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Referee Tony Weeks halted the fight at the 1:45 mark of the ninth after the 24-year-old Banal was dropped with a flurry of heavy blows. Banal beat Weeks’ count but as he stood up he turned his back and was still glassy-eyed, forcing the American referee to stop the bout.
“He was just out of it. If you look at the video, he turned away and wasn’t on steady legs. There was no purpose for him to get hurt anymore,” Weeks told Sun.Star Cebu after the fight.
Banal looked impressive the first four rounds of the fight and constantly tagged Sor Singyu with some vicious combinations. However, in the fifth, Sor Singyu started to find his rhythm and retaliated. In the ninth, Sor Singyu landed some heavy bombs.
Robert Hoyle had Banal a point ahead, while judges Raul Caiz Jr. and Levi Martinez had it even going into the ninth. Banal had a point deducted in the sixth for a low blow.
Banal fell to 28-2-1 with 20 knockouts, while Sor Singyu improved to 43-1 with 28 knockouts.
While Banal faltered, the rest of the Pinoys in the undercard won. Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista captured the vacant WBO International featherweight strap, but barely escaped with the victory after a very tough 12-round fight against the heavier Daniel Ruiz in the main supporting bout.
“I thank the Lord that I finished the fight. I thought I would not finish the fight because he had heavy hands,” a battered and bruised Bautista, who walked away with a close split decision nod, admitted after the fight.
Judges Salven Lagumbay and Sampson Libres saw Bautista ahead, 116-112, and, 115-113, while Epi Almeda gave the fight to Ruiz, 115-113.
Bautista and Ruiz traded blows the whole night that had the fans grabbing their seats. Ruiz looked as if he would go down in a couple of occasions, while Bautista was nearly floored in the third after absorbing a barrage of punches.
Jason Pagara (30-2, 18 KOs) won one of the biggest bouts of his career in impressive fashion as he knocked out erstwhile unbeaten Miguel Antoine (17-1-1, 9 KOs) in just a single round.
Pagara rocked Antoine with a vicious right and then finished him off in the 2:48 mark with another right to the back of the ear. Filipino superstar Nonito Donaire, who was at ringside, was impressed with the performance of Pagara, who retained his WBO International light welterweight crown.
Despite being in the twilight years of his career, 33-year-old veteran Michael Domingo (45-16-2, 23 KOs) kept his world title hopes alive after a quick second round knockout over Ugandan Mudde Ntambe Rabison (19-3-1, 7 KOs). (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.