Banal world title clash vs Thai slated Oct. 20By Calvin Cordova
Philippine Daily Inquirer
CEBU CITY—AJ Banal’s long wait for a second crack at a world title is finally over.
After months of tedious negotiation, ALA Promotions finally sealed a match that pits the hard-hitting Cebuano boxer against Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu for the World Boxing Organization bantamweight title on Oct. 20 at Mall of Asia Arena.
The anticipated match dubbed as “Philippines vs The World” will serve as the 17th installment of the successful Pinoy Pride series.
“The negotiation started in February. It was a back and forth negotiation,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer in a press conference yesterday at the City Sports Club-Cebu Gym. “It took us so much effort and investment to pull this one off. It is quite an investment to bring this fight here.”
Bringing the fight in the country wasn’t easy since the OneSongchai Promotions, the biggest boxing promotional outfit in Thailand, was also capable of hosting the fight, said Aldeguer.
The deal was only sealed Tuesday night.
“We are looking at putting Boom-Boom Bautista in the undercard,” said Aldeguer.
Today will mark the fourth year anniversary of Banal’s heart-rending loss to Panama’s Rafael Concepcion.
Banal earned his first crack at a world title on July 26, 2008, but Concepcion stopped him with a 10th round knockout at Cebu Coliseum.
That loss, the only blot of his sterling boxing career, showed that it will take more than a homecourt advantage for Banal to win a world title.
The 23-year-old Banal has 28 wins, spiked by 20 knockouts, and one draw.
“I am more mature now. That time, all I think was to knock out my opponent. I was over aggressive,” said Banal, referring to his previous fight against Concepcion.
Against Singyu, Banal said he has to pace himself and prepare for a long haul.
“Stamina was my problem against Concepcion. I have been working to improve my stamina and pacing myself will be very important. I have been waiting for this and I will do my best to win the world title,” said Banal.