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By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.

Sun, 31 Jul 2011

Lapu-Lapu City ? There is a thin line between being entertaining and being irritating. I'm not really sure at what point Tyson Cave crossed the line. But the boos got louder as the fight progressed. Cave tried to get inside AJ Banal's head. He also managed to enrage the thousands in attendance.

The two southpaws played cat and mouse. Cave did more clowning that fighting. He was a slippery customer and Banal had difficulty landing a clean shot.

As the rounds passed, Banal did deliver the harder punches. Cave would turn and get hit in the buttocks. There was holding and pushing and other extra-curricular activites. Referee Tony Pesons had a hard time maintaining order. Cave moved, danced and clinched. What Cave didn't realize was that you don't get points for making the other guy miss. Punches score points.

In the fifth, a clash of heads opened acut on the corner of Banal's right eyebrow. Blood poured out of the wound and Banal continued to press. Wrestling sequences ensued and Banal was thrown to the canvas on several occasions. They traded low blows and the crowd 's jeers got louder. Cave's attempts at offense were few and far in between.

The Bazooka from Ermita tried to fight, the Prince of Hali tried to run and hold. In the 8th, the bleeding got worse and ring physician Dr. Jose Unabia recommended the fight stoppage. The scorecards read 79-73, 78-74 and 78-74 all for Banal who retains his WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight title.

Insults from the crowd were directed into Cave's corner. One of Cave's gloves was thrown into the crowd apparently by one of his cornermen. Cave wanted the Cebuanos to remember him; this fight sealed his infamy.

Banal (L) tries to corner a slippery Cave.

Banal declared a winner.

Cave (L) is being comforted by his father Robert.

Domingo (L) puts the pressure on Samosir.

Lorenzo Villanueva (R) looks at the fallen Eddy Camaro.

Jakosalem (L) puts Baluarte on the canvas.

Albert Pagara sends Jaime Alin Jr out of the ring.

Jaime Alin Jr tries to get up as the referee administers the count.


Michael 'Bruce Lee' Domingo won by TKO at the end of the sixth round in his fight against Richard 'King Cobra' Samosir of Indonesia. Samosir tried to fight from a distance and establish his long jab. But Domingo landed the harder blows. Samosir decided to fight back in the 6th but Domingo still dominated the round.

Samosir signalled that he had enough at the end of the 6th and his cornerman left him in the ring, disgusted with his decision to quit.


Lorenzo 'Thunderbolt' Villanueva fired a series of left hooks to the body and head of Eddy Camaro. The Indonesian crumbled and took the ten count on one knee. Official time ? 1:02.

Camaro went the distance before losing on points to Jason Pagara last January 2010. The unbeaten Villanueva now has 21 wins, 20 by knockout with one no contest.


Romeo Jakosalem decked Eusebio Baluarte three times, two were recognized by the referee. He continued to pummel a dazed Baluarte prompting the stoppage at 2:53 of the first round.


Albert Pagara remained unbeaten and score a 'highlight reel' knockout of Jaime Alin,Jr in the third round. A powerful right uppercut sent Alin out of the ring and he hung on the ropes unable to get back in. Official time ? 1:50.

Jonathan Refugio gave a boxing clinic and won an eight round unanimous decision victory over Jomar Cordinillo. Refugio, a slick southpaw from the Sajulga Stable, used his lateral movement effectively and landed sharp accurate counters. Cordinillo tried to press but missed more than he landed. He was also penalized for low blows in the second.

The scores ? 76-75, 77-74 and 78-73.

Jun 'Flash' Intor beat Cris Leon by majority decision. Intor strutted his usual comedy act but Leon did not want any part of it and landed hard straight punches. Intor realized that he was in a real fight and fought just enough to survive. The scores 38-38 and two judges had it 39-37 for Intor.

In the opening bout of the evening, Ryan Maano needed only 43 seconds to dispose of Yoshinobu Arai of Japan. A one-two combo sent Arai down and Maano continued to rain punches on the Japanese when he got up. The referee stopped the fight with Arai trapped on the ropes.

The fights were held at the HOOPS Dome in Lapu-Lapu City and supervised by the Games and Amusements Board. In attendance were GAB Chairman Juan Ramon Guanzon and WBO Asia-Pacific chief Leon Panoncillo. Seen in the crowd were Z Gorres, Milan Melindo and Donnie Nietes.

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