Finally, the much-awaited World Boxing Organization bantamweight title shot of AJ “Bazooka” Banal has been arranged.
After a tussle on which country will host the world title fight, ALA Promotions announced on Wednesday that Banal (27-1-1, 20KO’s) will collide with Thai contender Pungluang Sor Singyu for the vacant title on October 20 at the newly-built SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
Banal, who admitted that his painful defeat in his first world title shot against Rafael Concepcion in front of a jam-packed venue in Cebu City, vowed not to do the same mistakes he did during the fight that handed him his first defeat.
“I am now more experienced now,” Banal said during Wednesday’s press conference in Cebu City. “I learned from my mistakes. I was very tense going into that fight. I just kept on pressuring him. Now I have learned to pace myself. I will not get too excited.”
The 23-year-old Banal, the reigning WBO Asia Pacific Bantamweight champion, said that his advantage against his Thai opponent is his power, but he also noted that he already knows how to defeat an opponent without knocking him out.
Banal is coming off a four-round unanimous decision win over Ruben Mankane last Saturday and also scored a convincing decision win over Mario Briones last October.
Edmund Villamor, Banal’s trainer, is also confident with their chances after seeing fight tapes of Sor Singyu and said that he is convinced that Banal will win the title this time.
“We have seen Pungluang’s fight,” Villamor said. “He is a good boxer puncher. But Banal is now mature, more disciplined. We have been doing conditioning exercises, sprints and road work in Kabangcalan. AJ has improved on his pacing.”
The Banal-Sor Singyu bout will be co-promoted by ALA Promotion and ABS-CBN Sports in another “Pinoy Pride” fight card.