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Cebu City, Philippines – “I am here baby,” a jovial Tyson Cave greeted the sports press of Cebu. “Where Banal at?”

Tyson “Prince of Hali” Cave (15-1, 5 KOs) was in high spirits as he answered questions from the press. But one thing is really certain, he does not like that upcoming opponent, AJ “Bazooka” Banal (24-1-1, 19 KOs) is already looking past him. In a press conference held today at the Maya Mexican Restaurant, Cebu City, Cave sternly warned Banal to forget his dreams of a rematch with Rafael Concepcion and instead “worry about Tyson Cave.”

Cave and Banal are set to headline Pinoy Pride 7: Battle at Mactan, the seventh installment of the Pinoy Pride boxing series. The fight will be held on July 30th, 2011 at the newly constructed Hoops Dome in Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines.

“I really think it’s stupid that Banal is already looking forward to fight Concepcion,” Cave said. “I am here. He should be worried about me.”

Asked about his fighting style, Cave said he looks up to Muhammad Ali and Prince Naseem Hamed. Both fighters were pure fistic entertainers during the peaks of their careers, wowing the crowd with dazzling moves while frustrating their opponents with their slickness and speed.

"I will make Banal hate me," Tyson Cave on his gameplan for AJ Banal.

Cave was told by a certain media personnel that Filipino fight fans love prizefighters who go toe-to-toe over pure boxers and “dancing” fighters.

“The guy has 19 knockouts!” Cave responded. “I am not going to bang with him!”

“Here’s what I am going to do. I am going to do my thing and make him hate me inside the ring. And after five rounds, Banal is going to be like ‘I hate that black guy!’”

“Who knows? I might be able to knock him out. He may also knock me out. Every fighter knows that.”

Asked about his lone loss, an 8th-round stoppage to Willie Casey April 2010, Cave said it is all part of the game.

“I got caught with a good shot. That’s what happened and big props to Casey for beating me. I believe that when you are caught with a good shot, there’s nothing you can do about it. I know it. Banal knows it too.”

“But Casey will be the last guy to beat me,” Cave added.

Flashy, flamboyant, cocky, and brash are some of the adjectives one can put together in a sentence when referring to the current WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight champion. But as the conference went on, Cave did not fail to show a serious side of himself.

“I only got these” Cave told the press while raising his fists. “I can’t afford a hockey stick. So I went to the gym one day and boom! Boxing happened.”

With regards to his experience in the Philippines, Cave can’t contain his thanks to the Filipino people.

“I definitely want to come back here. Philippines is a lovely country,” Cave said. “I might come back and stay here. And become the Filipino Tyson.”

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.