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AJ Banal targeting KO win


The quicker the fight ends, the better.

WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion AJ “Bazooka” Banal of the Philippines vowed to knock-out Mexican Raul “El Bule” Hidalgo when they tangle tonight in the main event of the Pinoy Pride XIII: Road to Glory at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

“I will carefully study his moves in the early goings then go for a knockout maybe in the middle rounds,” said Banal after tipping the scales at a perfect 118lbs.

Hidalgo was made to reduce one pound after initially coming in at 119lbs during official weigh-in at SM City Cebu’s Activity Center.

“We will study Hidalgo’s style in the first round then execute our plans in the following rounds and maybe we can have that knock-out that we want. But if the bout goes the full 12 rounds, AJ (Banal) is very prepared for it,” said ALA Gym Chief Trainer Edito Villamor.

A win over Hidalgo is very important for Banal to earn a shot at a world title.

Meanwhile, Cebuano OPBF flyweight champion Rocky “The Road Warrior” Fuentes came half a pound lighter than the 114 lbs catch weight for his bout against Mexican Javier Franco in the main supporting bout. Fuentes weighed in at 113.5 lbs compared to Franco who is heavier than two pounds (116lbs) during weigh-in.

However the fight will still go on since it is not a title bout.

“You will be seeing me cautious in every move and very patient in this fight because I have not also seen the fight tapes of Franco. I am also planning to knock him out but I just have to be patient,” said Fuentes. The Fuentes-Franco showdown is set for 10 rounds.


Meanwhile, 18-year-old future boxing superstar and undefeated Albert “Prince” Pagara will fight an almost equally talented Thai banger Phupa Por Nobnom for eight rounds in the undercard. Pagara and Nobnom both came in at an exact 166lbs.

Pagara said he is confident of stopping his opponent in the early rounds. The fight is the Thai’s first outside of his country.

“I will knock him out in the fourth round because I am really in condition to fight and I am very prepared for this,” said Pagara.

Bacolod City’s undefeated slugger Arthur Villanueva whose comeback has been keenly awaited by boxing fans, will finally get to show his wares tonight against dangerous Rey Migreno of the Cordillera. They will tangle for eight rounds.

Villanueva who is in tip top shape weighed in at an exact 118lbs while Migreno has to shed off 1.0lbs after he came in at 119lbs. The fight will be Villanueva’s first after more than a year of absence due to a severe injury in his hand which cost him big fights.

Young prospect Roma Rate weighed in at 108 lbs while his opponent Jade Yagahon came in at 107 lbs. They will fight for eight rounds.

The undefeated Arjan Canillas tipped the scales at 126lbs while his rival Ranie Pamatian also weighed in at 126lbs. They will battle for six rounds.

Jun “Flash” Intor tipped the weighing scales at 127lbs while his opponent Alejandro Marapao weighed in at 126lbs for their four-round encounter while Crispin Barba and Belmar Quinors both weighed 131.5 lbs clearing the wauy for their four-round bout

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Tags: AJ Banal , Boxing

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