Banal falls in 9th rd
Cebuano fails to annex world crown; Bautista, Pagara, Domingo win
More News from Calvin D. Cordova
Pasay City—The ghost of the past came back to haunt AJ “Bazooka” Banal as once again he faltered in his second stab at a world title.
Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu (43W-1L-28KOs) floored Banal in the ninth round to wrest the WBO world bantamweight before a stunned sizable crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena last night.
Sor Singyu tagged Banal (28W-2L-20KOs) with telling blows to the head, sending Banal sprawling to the canvas.
A glassy-eyed Banal summoned all his strength to get up but he struggled. Referee Tony Weeks counted a wobbling Banal in the 2:45 mark of the ninth.
Meanwhile, Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista avoided what could have been a disastrous defeat, pulling out a hard-earned split decision win against Mexico’s Daniel Ruiz in the main undercard.
Bautista (34W-2L, 25 KOs) walked the tight rope in snatching the WBO international featherweight title as he barely survived a tense third round that saw him stagger following a series of solid hits from Ruiz (27W-5L-2D, 19 KOs) .
Egged on by the crowd, the Candijay, Bohol-native Bautista survived the round and figured in a torrid exchange the rest of the rounds.
Judge Epi Almeda scored the fight 115-113 for Ruiz while Salven Lagumbay saw it at 116-112 for Bautista and Samson Libres 115-113, also for Bautista.
Ruiz went into the match three pounds heavier of the contracted 129-lb limit which affected the fight.
“His punches had more power because he was heavier. He was tough and I was really hurt in the third round,” said Bautista.
PAGARA, DOMINGO STOP FOES
Jason Pagara (30W-2L-19KOS) sealed his third straight win since losing to Mexico’s Rosbel Montoya last year with a sensational first round knockout over erstwhile unbeaten Miguel “Hands of Stone” Antoine of Barbados.
Retaining his WBO international lightwelterweight crown, Pagara delivered a crackling right overhand that sent Antoine (17W-1L-1D-9KOs) on his pants. Referee Bruce McTavish counted Antoine out, ending the fight at the 2:48 mark of the opening period.
Michael Domingo (45W-16L-2D-24KOs) showed he still has what it takes to contend for a title as he downed Mudde Ntambe Rabison (19W-3L-1D) with energy-zapping body shots to dispatch the African in the 2:04 mark of the second round.
Marlon Tapales of Rex Wakee Salud stable dominated Indonesia’s Rasmudin en route to an easy second round KO win. The stoppage came at the 2:56 mark of the second round.
Other undercard fights showed Juan Martin Elorde scoring a fourth round knockout win over Ricy Sismund; Val Falcunaya of Lipa, Batangas pulling off a third round TKO win over Boholano boxer Robert Agcopra and Randy Bullong stopping Cebu City-based Japanese Kazuma Ejiri via a TKO in the fourth round.
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