Advertisement
Advertisement

AJ Banal Shows Fighting Heart in His Recent Victory

By Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo

Bacolod City, Philippines -- The stigma with AJ "Bazooka" Banal (26-1-1, 19 KOs) was that he can't fill a dollar- he only has three quarters; That he struggles in the "championship rounds" and fades as the fight goes on. As talented as the 22-year-old Bukidnon-native is, his heart and stamina prevent him from becoming a World Champion.

At least that has been the perception.

Last Saturday night, however, Banal proved that he is capable of finishing. Against a tough and rugged customer, then undefeated Mexican Mario Briones (20-1-1, 14 KOs), Banal dominated and outclassed, only to feel as if he was having deja vu in the latter rounds as his body started to fade and his opponent kept on coming.

This though, was no Groundhog Day rerun. Banal mustered all he could and exchanged with Briones in the final two rounds, despite somewhat struggling with his wind. Not only did he go toe-to-toe in the end, he continued to best his opponent.

What was the difference?

"I would like to thank my psychologist from Manila, Dr. Lee," Banal told me after the fight. The humble and soft spoken Banal also admitted that it was in the mental aspect where he fell short in terms of his previous fights.

"I was thinking about my son during those hard rounds. He's the one who gives me strength and inspiration," Banal added.

Aside from his heart and will, Banal also showed proof of the strides he's made with strength and conditioning coach Pio Solon, who has been working hard on improving all of the ALA boxers' conditioning and training methods. Maturity and experience also played vital parts.

Banal kept his composure and was patient when he had to, reserving some in the tank for his final push, instead of going all-out and risk gassing in the latter rounds.

"I didn't rush in those rounds that I felt I had him. I always hit him with solid shots, but he showed that he can take them, so I didn't rush things and go for the knockout. I just paced and make sure I got the best of him," Banal revealed.

Banal's performance earned the praise of several onlookers, including his promoter and manager Michael Aldeguer. "That was the vintage AJ Banal we have been waiting to see for a while. We are very happy with his performance," Aldeguer told this writer after the fight. Aldeguer revealed that Banal is currently ranked #3 in the bantamweight division by the WBO, but wanted a big fight from his ward before putting him in a title fight.

Tags: AJ Banal image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Margarito-Alvarez Finalized For August 13th in Baja California Photos: Jamel Herring, Denis Shafikov Ready For Battle Hekkie Budler Ring Return is Scheduled For October 22 Ward's Coach: Brand Trumps Wade, Golovkin Didn't Want It! Chocolatito vs. Cuadras: Both Ready as Negotiations Heat Up Herring, Shafikov Make Weight For Crossroads Clash On ESPN Hearn: Eubank Win Over Golovkin is Bigger Than Hatton-Tszyu De La Hoya Sees Big Things For Niko 'Baby Face' Valdez Photos/Weights: Ganigan Lopez, Jonathan Taconing on Point Oscar Negrete: I Have To Be at My Best Against Bustos Dolton, Ghvamichava Meet in July 12 PBC on FS1 Headliner De La Hoya: Canelo a 154-Pounder, Golovkin Fight in 2017 Ryabinsky: WADA Has Ruled, Certified Povetkin as Clean Golovkin vs. Eubank: Hearn Gives Update on Finalizing Terms Oscar Negrete Wants a Title Shot After Bustos Fight Sammy Vasquez To Face Felix Diaz, Collazo is Out With Injury Anthony Joshua is a 4/1 Favorite To Win BBC SPOTY Award Photos: Andre Ward Throws Ceremonial First Pitch in Oakland Photos: Jamel Herring vs. Denis Shafikov Open Workouts Photos: Mikaela Lauren, Klara Svensson Go Face To Face Zac Dunn Stops Carlos Jerez In Five, Remains Unbeaten Promoter: David Benavidez Will Become Youngest 168 Champ Daniel Jacobs Rips Mora, Says Billy Joe Saunders Rejected Fight Golovkin Focuses on Middleweight Legacy, Canelo in Rearview Frank Warren: Wilder, Fury Would Outwork, Outfight Joshua Hearn: After Watching Thurman-Porter - I Know Brook is Better! Joshua Gormley To Face Andy Ruiz on July 16, Detroit Anthony Joshua's Fall Options: Stiverne, Jennings, Pulev, Parker Keith Thurman Very Interested in Facing Kell Brook in The Fall Wilder Embraces VADA, Feels Drug Testing Should Be Year-Round Margarito: Canelo Will Not Be Able To Help His Brother! Golovkin's Promoter: Eubank in The UK Would Be Huge Event Luis Rosa vs. Luis Hinojosa Ends in First Round No-Contest Peter Quillin Mulling New Direction, Move To Super Middleweight Ricky Burns, Kirill Relikh Have 30 Days To Reach a Deal Soto-Karass vs. Kamegai II Eyed For Canelo vs. Smith PPV Telemundo Weights From Mexico City: Ruiz 130, Diaz 129 Jezreel Corrales-Jason Sosa Ordered To Collide By The WBA James Kirkland in Training, Reunites With Ann Wolfe Canelo Back on 'Regular' HBO? - Door is Open For December
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement