Banal, foe eye knockout win
One will definitely go down.
AJ “Bazooka” Banal and Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu finally came face to face yesterday and both vowed to knock each other out when they tangle for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight title scheduled on Oct. 20 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
Pungluang (42W-1L, 27 KOs) is looking to extend his dominance over Filipino boxers, having fought and defeated 14 Pinoy fighters.
The Thailander is confident of winning by knockout but admitted it won’t be easy.
“It’s gonna be hard for me and it will be also be hard for him. I watched Banal’s fights on tapes and he’s a strong boxer with a good technique. But I know I can beat him. I am a stronger puncher,” said Pungluang through Michel Du, representative of the Thailand-based One Songchai Promotions, who also served as interpreter during yesterday’s press conference at Cafe Uno in Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
Though he had vanquished several Filipino boxers, Pungluang will be fighting for the first time in the Philippines.
“I love fighting Filipino boxers. The venue will not make a difference. I’ll just fight like I’m in Thailand,” said Pungluang.
Pungluang, who started as a Muay Thai fighter before shifting to boxing, considered Eden Sonsona and Marvin Tampus as his toughest Filipino opponents.
The 24-year-old Thailander defeated Sonsona by unanimous decision in 2009 then stopped Tampus in the sixth round during their encounter last year.
Banal (20W-1L-1D, 2O KOs) is also keen of scoring a knockout, looking to finally win a world title after failing in his first attempt in 2008, where he lost to Panama’s Rafael Concepcion right in front of his Cebuano fans at the Cebu Coliseum.
“If he wants to knock me out, I am also gunning for a knockout. This is going to be a very a good fight and I will do my very best to win,” said the 23-year-old Banal.
Edmund Villamor, Banal’s trainer, said being a southpaw may work wonders for Banal.
“We studied his (Pungluang) fights and it showed that he had a hard time attacking a southpaw. That’s something that we will try to exploit,” said Villamor.
ALA Promotions CEO/President Michael Aldeguer said the upcoming bout could easily be considered as the biggest event in the country this year.
“The purse for Pungluang alone is already enough to put up one Pinoy Pride edition,” Aldeguer said in explaining how big the upcoming fight is.
It took a lot of negotiations before ALA Promotions was able to earn the right to stage the fight in the country.
WBO Asia-Pacific Vice Pres. Leon Panoncillo announced that there will be no Asian judges in the fight.
“International judges will be tapped for the fight. This is going to be a tough fight for the two boxers. Banal is good but I’ve seen Pungluang fight and he is very impressive,” said Panoncillo.
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