Quijano: Analyzing Banal’s debacle-A A +A
Saturday, October 27, 2012
But how do you define a shot fighter? Is it akin to the dreaded “punch-drunk” syndrome?
Could AJ Banal be our version of David Reid?
Reid was a US Gold Medalist in the 1996 Olympics who later won the WBA junior middleweight crown. But in March 2000 he was punished from pillar to post by Felix Trinidad, a beating he never fully recovered from.
He was never the same fighter after that and would exhibit fatigue at the middle rounds of a fight and struggle against middling opposition.
He retired in 2001 with a record of only 17 wins, 2 losses, 7KOs at the age of 28.
If so, how could a fighter like AJ Banal who is only 23 years of age be similarly afflicted?
Or could there be a latent genetic predisposition for his inability to withstand hard, strong punches in the middle of a fight?
Dr. Robert Gambrell, a noted sports physician in his article “Boxing: Medical Care In and Out of the Ring” (Current Sports Medicine Reports, Current Medicine Group, 2007 ) acknowledges the possibility that a “genetic predisposition may also exist in some individuals with the presence of the apolipoprotein E genotype, which has also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.”
Another factor could be drastic weight loss. If he is competing at a weight class too far from his walk-around weight, he could be draining himself too much at the weigh-ins, thereby making him weak and susceptible to fatigue at the latter stages of a fight.
All these possibilities need to be considered but I would rather defer to the medical experts and sports nutritionists on this matter.
What we do know is that weak punch resistance and stamina woes are pathological maladies that afflict Banal and these need to be addressed in determining the progress of his career.
The incubation period for developing a fighter for another world championship run can only be extended so much.
THE THINGS THEY SAY. Sometimes I troll through boxing forums to find out what other fans think and quite frankly, I find it unfathomable how some people can be so downright callous and mean.
I have read numerous posts on these testosterone pits from keyboard warriors disparaging Banal. Really guys? C’mon lighten up, will you?
How could you denigrate somebody who dares to lace on a pair of gloves as his only shot to punch his way out of poverty and make a better life for himself and his family?
I respect the kid for trying and will never disparage a fighter who dares to fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion.
The same goes to those who criticize ALA Promotions and the Pinoy Pride Series.
I’m no ALA apologist and my Last Rounders can attest to that. I call a spade a spade, but in this particular case, ALA Promotions took one on the chin for Philippine boxing by staging a world championship bout inside the cavernous Mall of Asia Arena which was only about 60 percent full at best.
ALA promotions does not deserve to be pilloried just because Banal lost. They are giving young fighters a chance to make something of themselves.
Just in case you didn’t notice, there were non-ALA Gym fighters featured on Pinoy Pride XVII, and one of them was Juan Martin Elorde who made a good account of himself with three straight lefts that took down Gerry Sismundo.
(I spoke to this young man at the weigh-in. “Bai” is the grandson of the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who hails from Bogo, Cebu but regrettably, he doesn’t speak a word of Cebuano and apparently isn’t in contact anymore with his Bogo relatives)
I fully concede that you don’t have to be nice, but as in all things in life, you can at least try to be fair.
LAST ROUND. It’s on my kumpare, Master Eddy Basa of Nicketstick Balintawak who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 28, 2012.