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AJ Banal stakes title vs Canadian Tyson Cave Saturday night

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LAPU-LAPU CITY—They touched foreheads as Filipino knockout artist AJ “Bazooka” Banal and Canadian loudmouth Tyson “The Prince of Hali” Cave glared at each other Friday during their weigh-in at the Grand Gaisano here.

No one blinked as if to show their intent to win in today’s headliner of the Pinoy Pride 7: Battle at Mactan at the newly built Hoops Dome here.

The 22-year-old Banal, serious and quiet, will be staking his World Boxing Organization Asia Pacific bantamweight championship against Cave, a jovial braggart whose incessant taunts and antics have provided good copy for the top 12-round bout of the 66-round card.

Cave, the reigning World Boxing Council Continental Americas super bantamweight titlist, was true to form during the official weigh-in, even doing situps in front of Banal.

The Cebuano pride was unamused but Cave, who matched Banal’s weight of 117.75 pounds, succeeded in eliciting some applause from the big crowd at the activity center.

Tonight, however, it will be serious business for Banal, winner of 24 bouts with 19 knockouts, one loss and one draw, and Cave (15-1, with 5 KOs) when they tangle at the 8,000-seat, air-conditioned facility.

In earlier reports, Cave boasted that he’d make Banal cry in frustration of not being able to hit him. And if ever Banal does connect, Cave said he’d land even more punches.

Banal, stalwart of the ALA gym, had retorted that he’s going to nail the pride of Halifax sooner or later and silence him.

Other featured bouts in the card put up by ALA Promotions in cooperation with ABS-CBN Sports pit veteran Michael Domingo (40-15-5 with 18KOs), also of ALA Gym, against Indonesian Richard Samosir (18-3-3 with 7KOs) at 121 pounds and WBO Oriental featherweight champion Lorenzo Villanueva (20-0 19KOs) against Indonesian Eddy Camaro (24-10-4 with 9KOs) at 127 pounds.

Bukidnon City’s Eusebio Baluarte (17-3 with 10KOs) will stake his Philippine light welterweight belt against Tagbilaran City’s Romeo Jakosalem (11-4-1 with 5KOs) in another 12-rounder while Maasin City’s Albert Pagara and Bukidnon City’s Jaime Alin Jr. tangle in a 6-rounder at 115 lbs.

Completing the event being supported by the Lapu-Lapu City Government are the 8-rounder between Tagbilaran City’s Jomar Cordinillio and Bukidnon City’s Jonathan Refugio at 105 lbs; and the 4-rounders between Negros Oriental’s Jojo Intor and Bukidnon City’s Cris Leon at 122 lbs and Mandaue City’s Ryan Maano and Japanese Yoshinubo Arai at 130 lbs.

ALA Promotions bigwigs Michael and Antonio Aldeguer said they brought the fight card here to give fight-loving Cebuanos from Mactan Island a treat.

According to ALA executive Dennis Canete, tickets are enjoying brisk sales and they are expecting a full house.


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