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 Mikey Garcia: I Look Forward To Winning Another World Title! Ed Brown Beats Gilbert Venegas Again, Remains Unbeaten Leo Santa Cruz: I'll Win a Rematch - in Los Angeles or Belfast! Carl Frampton: I Wanted a Fight The People Would Remember Antonio Orozco Wins Hard-Fought Decision Over Abner Lopez Joseph Diaz Jr. Makes Quick Work, Crushes Victor Proa in Two Carl Frampton Beats Leo Santa Cruz, Wins WBA Belt in a War Luis Nery Breaks Down David Sanchez For Stoppage Win Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton - LIVE BoxingScene Scorecard Mikey Garcia Drops Elio Rojas Four Times For TKO in Five Tony Harrison Stops Sergey Rabchenko in IBF Eliminator LIVE HBO Latino Results From Indio, California Photo: Golovkin Heads To London To Face Off With Kell Brook Leo Santa Cruz: I Saw Defects in Quigg Win, I'll Catch Frampton! Paulie Malignaggi Beats Gabe Bracero in Battle of Brooklyn Tevin Farmer Dominates Ivan Redkach For Decision Win Josh Warrington Stops Patrick Hyland, in Line For Gary Russell Frampton: Santa Cruz is Definitely a Bigger Fight Than Quigg Robert Garcia: Mikey is Only 28, His Prime is Still Ahead McGuigan: No Size Advantage for Santa Cruz vs. Frampton Dillian Whyte Dominates David Allen, Wins WBC Regional Belt Leo Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton: Pre-Fight Report Card Michel Soro, Hassan N'Dam Batter Opponents in France Luke Campbell Survives Knockdown, Beats Mendez For WBC Silver Santa Cruz vs. Frampton LIVE Results From Barclays Tyrone Nurse Outpoints Tommy Coyle in Cracker To Retain Mikey Garcia's Coach: We'd Love Terence Crawford in The Future! Leo Santa Cruz: The Pressure Is On Me In Carl Frampton Fight Ryan Burnett, Yafai, Gavin, Eggington, Feigenbutz Win in Leeds SHO’s Espinoza: Santa Cruz-Frampton Part of Unofficial Tourney Paulie Malignaggi: I’d Love To End My Career in Brooklyn Michel Soro Returns To Action in Le Cannet, France McGuigan: Santa Cruz Facing Frampton Because of Gonzalez Fight Frampton’s Promoter Eyes Russell, Selby Next - No Quigg, or Rigo Photos: Adonis Stevenson Blasts Williams Hard - MEGA Gallery Santa Cruz Expects Carl Frampton To Out-Weigh Him In Ring Mikey Garcia: If No Layoff, I Definitely Would Be a Big Star Berto Wouldn’t Be A Gimme For Danny Garcia, Says Showtime VP Adonis Stevenson-Thomas Williams: Post-Fight Report Card Frampton Must Defy Conventional Wisdom To Upset Santa Cruz
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement