All set for PP XVII card on Oct. 20By Calvin Cordova
Cebu Daily News
Much of the attention may naturally be on the main event of the Pinoy Pride 17: The Philippines vs. The World fight card where AJ “Bazooka” Banal faces Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu for the WBO world bantamweight crown.
But the supporting bouts also look intriguing with three other ALA fighters gunning for spectacular showings when the mammoth event blasts off on Oct. 20 at the newly built SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Manila.
Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista, Jason “El Niño” Pagara and Michael “Bruce Lee” Domingo will be out to enhance their chances of earning bigger fights as they try to conquer separate foreign opponents.
Bautista (33W-2L-25KOs) will face Mexico’s Daniel Ruiz (27W-5L-2D-19KOs), Pagara (29W-2L-18KOs) will take on undefeated Miguel “Hands of Stone” Antoine (17W-1D-9KOS) while Domingo (44W-16L-2D-23KOs) will clash with Africa’s Mudde Ntambe Rabison (19W-2L-1D-7KOs).
Winner of seven straight fights, Bautista is looking to pile up as many wins as he can while awaiting for a golden opportunity of facing anew his former tormentor Daniel Ponce de Leon, who recently won his second world title.
“It’s good that he is a world champion again. It will motivate me to improve more so I can have better chances of facing him again,” said Bautista in a press conference yesterday at Cebu Grand Hotel.
Pagara is targeting a third straight victory, looking to maintain his billing as ALA’s next big thing.
Pagara has won his last two fights capped by a vengeful sixth-round stoppage of former tormentor Rosbel Montoya.
This may be a non-title fight but winning against Rabison will be a big boost for Domingo. It has been a roller coaster ride for the 33-year-old fighter as his last four outings saw him on a loss-win-loss-win trend.
“I thank the ALA Promotions for continue believing in me. I’ll do my best to perform well in the coming fight,” said Domingo.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer still believes that Domingo can still compete at a high level.
“I know there’s still one big fight left in him. He is a high-risk, low-reward fighter, a boxer who can always spoil the fight. I know the opportunity will come for him,” said Aldeguer.
Banal said he is now in a top condition in his second crack at a world title.
“I’m ready to fight,” said Banal.
Trainer Edmund Villamor reminded Banal not to be complacent, a thing that nearly did Milan Milendo in in his recent fight against Jean Piero Perez of Venezuela.
In that fight, Milendo started strong but slowed down a bit in the later rounds before hacking a majority decision victory.
“Milan got complacent. He was too confident. We learned something from that fight. Getting too complacent is something that AJ must avoid against Sor Singyu,” said Villamor.
The fight card will also have Marlon Tapales fight against Rasmanudin of Indonesia; Randy Bullong against Kazuma Ejiri of Osaka Japan; Arjan Canillas against Jakes Sawangin and Juan Marin Elorde against a yet to be determined opponent.