Filipino bruiser AJ “Bazooka” Banal (24-1-1, 19 KOs) better not look past his upcoming opponent, Canadian Tyson “Prince of Hali” Cave (15-1, 5 KOs), who hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia. The reigning WBC Asia-Pacific bantamweight titlist is making a fatal mistake, or so says Cave’s father and manager Robert. In a recent phone interview with Robert, the older Cave told this writer that he believes that such action from Banal would be his downfall.
Banal has said that he is looking forward to a rematch with former world title contender Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion of Panama after he is done with Cave. But for Robert, “looking past Tyson is a big mistake.”
“They called us, we didn’t called them,” Robert said. “But we are coming to win and I can assure you, AJ will be in a fight for his life.”
According to Robert, Banal’s camp called Eric Guzman, the head trainer of Canadian light welterweight star Steve Claggett, who then called Cave’s camp. “Eric called and asked us if we would like to fight AJ and we immediately agreed to the fight.”
Speaking of Claggett, who lost to Romeo Jakosalem in his first fight here in the Philippines, Robert told this writer that the same thing won’t happen to his son. “We train inside of a sauna so that Tyson will be conditioned to fight in high humidity.”
“We are coming to your country and put on a boxing clinic on AJ. My son offers a lot to the table,” Robert told this writer. “He’s not much on power but he has speed and accuracy.”
I looked at AJ’s previous fights and no one has Tyson’s kind of talent. My son is someone AJ has never been in the ring with before.”
Tyson floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. AJ’s power will not play much of a role since he won’t hit what he can’t see.”
Much like Muhammad Ali in his prime, Robert added.
Robert also mentioned that the shift in time zones will not affect his son’s performance once they touch down here in the Philippines. He said that Tyson has been going to different countries when he was still an amateur so jetlag and other acclimatization issues will not be a problem. Tyson’s amateur record stands at 124-12, with 83 international bouts.
Robert also said that a victory will greatly boost his son’s market value as a prizefighter. “When we beat AJ, Tyson will break into the top 10 bantamweights in the WBC.”
“We are going to your country and beat AJ,” Robert said. “But I would also like to put on record that we are not taking AJ lightly. We train seven days a week.”
I think the underestimation comes from the Banal camp, who has already been talking of a rematch with Concepcion after my son’s fight. But like I said, we are coming to win.”
Asked for a prediction, Robert’s response was short and simple. “Tyson. Seven rounds. Stoppage.”
Pinoy Pride 7: Banal vs. Cave will be held on July 30th 2011 at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines.
Photo credits: Robert Cave