Banal to get 2nd world title crackBy Calvin Cordova
Cebu Daily News
IF PLANS don’t miscarry, AJ “Bazooka” Banal will earn another crack at a world title when the highly successful Pinoy Pride series returns to Manila either in September or October.
Banal, the WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight champion, is likely to face Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu for the WBO bantamweight crown currently held by Jorge Arce of Mexico.
The initial plan was to pit Banal against Arce but the Mexican boxer is keen on vacating the crown to move up to the 122-pound division, said Michael Aldeguer, CEO/president of ALA Promotions.
Banal (27-1-1, 20 KOs) is the No. 1 WBO bantamweight contender while Singyu (41-1, 26 KOs) is rated No. 2.
Banal faltered in his first world title fight, losing to Rafael Concepion via a 10th round knockout in 2008 in Cebu City.
Aldeguer said prospective venues are the Smart Araneta Coliseum or the Mall of Asia Arena should they be able to convince Singyu’s camp to have the fight held in the country.
The Pinoy Pride series had its first Manila edition yesterday. The main event, set late last night, featured champion Donnie Nietes against Felipe Salguero for the WBO light flyweight title.
“The Pinoy Pride 14 was the biggest so far considering that it featured one world title fight and two regional title fights,” said Aldeguer.
Aldeguer said more big fights will be held in Manila.
“We want to make Cebu as the Las Vegas of Asia but we also have to penetrate Manila being the country’s capital city. We also want to have the big fights held in Manila because it has bigger venues which could accommodate 15,000 to 20,000 fans,” said Aldeguer.