BANAL REPULSES BERANZA, WINS BY UD
By Dong Secuya
Sun, 30 Aug 2009
Honolulu, HI -- AJ 'Bazooka' Banal won by wide unanimous decision over Jose Angel Beranza of Mexico dominating the never say die yet outclassed opponent in most of their 10-round contest at Blaisdell Arena here Saturday night in the undercard of the Brian Viloria vs Jesus Iribe world championship bout. The judges scores were 99-92, 98-92 and 98-91 all for Banal's favor.
Banal fought cautiously in the first two rounds but turned on the heat starting in the 3rd round which saw Beranza getting tagged with solid shots to the head and the body. Banal continued to dish punishment on Beranza in the 4th round but the tough Mexican refused to back out and continued to move forward resulting in accidental clashes of heads.
In the 5th round Banal inflicted a cut to Beranza's left eye from a legitimate blow which began to bleed during the round and into the 6th round. Encouraged by a pro-Filipino crowd of 4,000 which filled the Blaisdell arena, Banal seemed to be in total control by the 6th round and showing great confidence, tagged Beranza with solid right crosses and left uppercuts. However, Beranza, from the sixth round onwards, perhaps taking a leaf from Rafael Concepcion during Concepcion's upset win over Banal in Cebu City, continued to force his way towards Banal resulting in several clashes of heads, grappling, pushing and low blows which saw Banal being dragged to the canvas several times.
By the 8th round, AJ seemed tired and an eerie feeling of what happened at the Cebu Coliseum on July 26, 2007 crept on this writer while Beranza kept on rough-housing Banal which also saw Beranza taking the round. The ninth saw Banal getting cut on his left eyebrow from an ugly clash of heads with Beranza. Banal hit Beranza with a hard low-blow which resulted in a point deducted from Banal by the referee as the fight was getting uglier. In the last round, although Beranza continued his rough tactics, Banal wisely boxed to hang on and win the fight.
In the aftermath, Beranza had four cuts in different places of his head which required stitches while Banal had to endure seven stitches for his own cut.
Banal has now upped his record to 20-1-1 16KOs while Beranza went down to 32-16-2 25KOs.
Top photo: Banal (R) connects with a right on Beranza.
A left uppercut by Banal (L) hits squarely on Beranza's bread basket.
Laurente (R) connects with a right over Zavaleta.
DENNIS LAURENTE ALSO WINS BY UD
In a featured undercard, Filipino Dennis Laurente won by wide unanimous decision over Zaid Zavaleta of Mexico in a 10 round light welterweight bout. The scores were 100-90 twice and 99-91 all in Laurente's favor. Laurente is now 33-3-5 (16KOs) while Zavaleta dropped to 18-6-2 (11KOs).
In the only abbreviated fight of the evening, popular welterweight from 'The Contender' Alfonso Gomez (20-4-2 9KO) made short work of Raul Munoz (20-13-1 15KO) dispatching the Topeka, Kansas native at 2:01 in the first round.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.
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