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WBO Prez Has High Praise For Banal-Pungluang Bout

by Ronnie Nathanielsz

World Boxing Organization president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel has described the battle between AJ “Bazooka” Banal and Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu for the vacant WBO bantamweight title as “huge.”

Valcarcel told the Manila Standard that the title fight which will take place at the plush Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City on Saturday and will be telecast by ABS-CBN at 10:15 on Sunday morning “is very good for the Philippines and very good for boxing.”

Having seen fights of Pungluang who is ranked No. 2 by the WBO, Valcarcel said “he can fight. He’s strong. But Banal, he can box and he has a great opportunity because they are fighting in Manila. I can’t pick a winner because it will be an even fight.”

Valcarcel congratulated ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer and respected boxing patron Tony Aldeguer for successfully concluding “some hard negotiations” to bring the fight to the Philippines at the brand new Mall of Asia Arena stressing, “that’s very good for boxing.”

He said “I have to congratulate Michael and Tony Aldeguer for the promotion. They worked hard, they got hard negotiations but finally they are going to have the biggest fight in Manila in the last 10 years.”

At the same time Valcarcel commended WBO vice president for the Asia Pacific region Leon Panoncillo for having “done a helluva job. I have to congratulate Leon who started with us very young, now he’s more mature. He’s doing great.”

He said right now the WBO “is very strong in the Philippines, Thailand too, Indonesia, Korea and now in Japan. The sky’s the limit for the WBO in  Asia.”

Valcarcel indicated the WBO “is going to give more opportunities to anybody in Asia – the fighters and the organizations – we are going to be the leaders there, for sure.”

The WBO president emphasized that “very soon we will be in Japan and it will be an honor  for me and the WBO to have Leon working in Japan also.”

Valcarcel expressed his regrets at not attending the Banal-Pungluang title fight because he will be in Florida for the WBO Annual Convention which starts on October 21.    

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