Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

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 Liam Smith vs. Liam Williams Showdown in Play For April 8 Callum Smith's Trainer is Not Buying Badou Jack's Weight Issues Haye, Bellew Could Lose Licenses if Further Violence, Says Hearn Dina Thorslund Wants Mikkel Kessler as a Number Boy Lara's Trainer: Canelo is Facing Chavez Jr. at 165, No GGG at 160? Manny Pacquiao is Stumped: I Don't Know Who Jeff Horn is? Gervonta Davis Vows: I Will Be That Next Pay-Per-View Star! Michael Conlan Puts Olympics Behind Him, Has Big Career Goals Marquez Gives Canelo The Clear Edge Over Much Bigger Chavez Jr. Thurman: My Power, Speed Will Rise Above Garcia's 'Swiftness' DeGale-Jack Drew an Average of 454,000 Viewers on Showtime Thurman Hopes He and Garcia Can Draw 8 Million Viewers on CBS Cuadras Warns: Chocolatito Was Afraid, Rungvisai Might KO Him! Rob Brant's Ring Return Moves on With Late Replacement Keith Thurman to Danny Garcia: You’re Getting Knocked Out Badou Jack Vacates WBC Title, Officially Moves Up To 175-Pounds Video: Angel Garcia Talks Keith Thurman Unification Video: Keith Thurman Breaks Down Danny Garcia, Angel Garcia Photos: Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman - Tense Face To Face in NY Video: Danny Garcia, Angel Garcia Sound Off on Keith Thurman Video: SHO's Espinoza Discusses Future Fights on Network, More DeGale: Mayweather Talks Rubbish, Has Big Ego, All About Him Eddie Hearn Discusses The Status of Kell Brook vs. Amir Khan Photos: Michael Conlan - New York City Presser For Pro Debut Jordan Thompson Inks Frank Warren Deal Marco Huck vs. Mairis Briedis Finalized For April 1 Showdown Groves' Trainer Talks DeGale vs. Jack, Status of Chudinov Fight CBS to Air Garcia-Thurman; Announcement at Press Conference Patrick Nielsen, Dina Thorslund Ready For Nordic Fight Night Bouts Michael Conlan vs. Tim Ibarra Ticket Information Billy Joe Saunders Links Up With Adam Booth After Tibbs Split Manny Pacquiao's Career Could Extend Beyond 2017, Says Arum Jarrell Miller: Deontay Wilder is a Fraud; Highly Doubt He Fights Me Broner: Fighting Spence Would Be "Foolish" for Crawford's Career Daily Bread Mailbag: Golovkin-Jacobs, Canelo-Chavez, More Lawrence Okolie Inks Promotional Pact With Eddie Hearn Jamie Cox: I Would Beat Eubank Jr. and Quinlan in The Same Night! Farrell Hungry To Produce Champions, Excited for McCrory Link Up Chisora To Whyte: Forget Wilder, You Need To Face Me Again J. Mayweather No Longer Convinced That Golovkin Beats Canelo
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement