?BAZOOKA? BANAL RETURNS AGAINST INDONESIAN CHAMPION
By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Tue, 30 Dec 2008
AJ ?Bazooka? Banal returns to the ring on January 31 when he battles Indonesia?s tough super flyweight champion Nouldy Manakane in Banal?s first appearance after his stunning 10th round KO loss to Rafael Concepcion of Panama last July 26.
The fight will be held in Tagbilaran City with the untinted support of passionate boxing fan and popular Mayor Dan Neri Lim.
ALA Gym boxing patron Tony Aldeguer told www.insidesports.ph, Standard Today and Viva Sports that since his loss to Concepcion in a WBA Interim title fight they had been working on Banal?s ?maturity.?
That?s because he was comfortably ahead and all he needed to do was to stay out of trouble and the title was his but he showed lack of maturity in the ring which was his ultimate downfall.
In fact, WBC founding secretary general Rudy Salud said that despite the loss he had faith and confidence in Banal?s ability to bounce back and eventually win a world title.
Aldeguer at present is hoping for a Banal win over the Indonesian champion who has a record of 17-7-1 with 8 knockouts and has won six fights in a row after dropping a unanimous decision to WBO No.1 ranked Pramuansak Posuwan of Thailand in a WBO Asia Pacific super flyweight title fight on September 3, 2007 before matching Banal against an even tougher opponent in a bigger fight in March.
Manakane won the Indonesian 115 pound title with a unanimous decision over Jimmy Gobel on March 18 this year and scored a split decision win over tough Marangin Marbin in a title defense last May 10. In his last fight on December 18, Manakane scored a 7th round TKO over Muhadin Crusher.
The 20 year old southpaw Banal has a record of 17-1-1 with 14 knockouts and despite the loss to Concepcion is still considered one of the country?s best prospects for a world title.
Banal is ranked No. 8 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) and No. 10 by the World Boxing Association (WBA).
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Ronnie Nathanielsz.
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