By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight champion AJ “Bazooka” Banal has been doing fine in his preparation for his title defense against WBC Continental Americas super bantamweight champion Tyson “Prince of Hali” Cave at the spanking new, air-conditioned Hoops Dome in Lapu Lapu City on July 30.
ALA Promotions strength and conditioning coach Pio Solon told the Daily Inquirer that he believes Cave “is too slow for Banal“ but indicated it “will be an interesting fight as Cave has a lot of combinations and has good footwork for defense.”
Solon noted that Banal has “always complained about shoulder problems in the past but for this camp that has been significantly minimized.”
Solon said “we worked on his density a bit and you should see some changes in his body composition for this fight.” He said he is “hoping that would give him capacity to withstand punches to the body. I never felt he had problems with power, as he has KO power in both hands. We just increased that transfer of force from the hips to the shoulders to the hands. His punches should be more solid now once they connect.”
The southpaw Cave has a record of 15-1 with 5 knockouts and is coming off a big win over Mexico’s Saturnino Nava last June 18.
Ranked No. 30 by the WBC in the super bantamweight division, Cave easily handled Nava and won by a 100-90 shut out on the scorecards of all three judges. The win helped Cave work towards getting a shot at the world’s top super bantamweights.
The 22 year old Banal who has a record of 24-1-1 with 19 knockouts won the title with a 5th round knockout of South Kirea’s Big Yoo on July 17, 2010.
The talented southpaw is coming off a 2nd round TKO of Francis Miyeyusho last
March 19 on the ABS-CBN “Pinoy Pride” series in cooperation with ALA Promotions.
The July 30 fights will also be telecast by ABS-CBN as well as its global network ,The Filipino Channel.