Tagbilaran City, Bohol — AJ “Bazooka” Banal tries to keep his streak going following a devastating loss as he shoots for an impressive win against Big Yoo in today’s main card of the Sandugo-Labanan ng mga Kampeon at the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex here.
Banal and Yoo will fight for the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight championship belt. Renowned international referee Bruce McTavish will be the third man on the ring.
It was almost two years ago when Banal was beaten by Panamian Rafael ‘El Torito’ Concepcion at the Cebu Coliseum. Fatigue doomed Banal in that fight after seemingly running out of gas in the later rounds.
It may have derailed his world title quest but Banal said the defeat taught him a lot of lesson.
“It taught me to be patient. Before I was too aggressive. I always go for a quick win, looking to knock my opponent out right away,” said Banal. “Pacing is one of the things that I tried to learn during my training.”
Banal is gunning for an impressive win against Yoo as it will help him boost his stock in preparation for tougher fights ahead.
In yesterday’s weigh-in at the Island City Mall, the Japanese South Korea-based Yoo (16W-2L, 11KOs) had no trouble making the weight limit of 118 pounds.
Banal (21W-1L-1D, 17 KOs) tipped the scale at 118 1/4 lbs. He finally made the weight limit in his third try.
The weigh-in was supervised by Dr. Nasser Cruz and Rolando Mendoza of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and WBO Asia-Pacific chief Leon Panoncillo.
The main undercard will pit ALA Gym’s Jason Pagara (18W-1L, 10 KOs) of Cagayan de Oro versus Korean Young Bin Kim (11W-1L, 7 KOs)
The other undercards will have ALA Gym’s James Bacon going up against Eric Macas of the Bong Yap Stable of Lanao del Norte, Ricky Sismundo of Tagbilaran City versus Jovie Merca of Butuan City, Jefferson Reodeque of Tagbilaran City against Rocky Bacor of DDP Stable, Jomar Cordinillo of Tagbilaran City versus Sherwin Longay of Lanao del Norte and Wilbeth Loberanis of Tagbilaran City versus Jolito Catubay of Cebu City.
As an added attraction, Bohol’s pride Rey “BoomBoom” Bautista will face Fernando Otik in a three-round exhibition fight.