CONCEPCION VOWS TO KO BANAL!
By Salven L. Lagumbay
Thu, 24 Jul 2008
CEBU CITY--Panama's Rafael Concepcion, visibly inspired by the new birth of his daughter, has vowed to put the lights out on AJ 'Bazooka' Banal when they clash on Saturday for the WBA interim superflyweight championship at the New Cebu Coliseum.
The two fighters met for the first time today during the final press conference put up by the ALA Promotions at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.
Also present at today's press conference were Golden Boy Promotions vice-president Eric Gomez, WBO Asia Pacific chairman Leon Panoncillo, international matchmaker non-pareil Sampson Lewkowicz, Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions and handlers of both fighters. Cebu City Councilor Sylvan "Jack" Jakosalem was also present as well as Tagbilaran City Mayor Dan Neri-Lim.
The 19-year-old Banal, for his part, did not predict any knockout round, but said he will do his talking on the ring.
Two Panamanians in history--Alfonso Lopez and Hilario Zapata--have come to the Philippines to beat Filipino fighters in a WBA-sanctioned event. Lopez TKO'd Erbito Salavarria in the 15th round to claim the WBA flyweight crown in 1976. Ten years later, Zapata decisioned Dodie Boy Penalosa to claim the same WBA flyweight belt at the University of Life Stadium in Manila.
Concepcion is hoping to become the third Panamanian to win a WBA title in the country at the expense of Banal.
Meanwhile, GBP vice-president Eric Gomez announced that the promotional firm was already assured by sportsman Antonio L. Aldeguer that Banal would sign up with the LA-based outfit.
The official weigh-in is scheduled at 11AM tomorrow at the atrium of SM City in Cebu, while the first bout starts at 5:30PM on Saturday.
Top photo: Banal (L) and Concepcion face off after the presscon at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
Banal (L) and Concepcion (R) pose with Golden VP President Eric Gomez ALA President Michael Aldeguer and matchmaker Sampson Lewkowicz.
Banal acknowledges the crowd after he was introduced.
From left: Eric Gomez, Michael Aldeguer, Sampson Lewkowicz and Concepcion's manager Damon de Berry.
Melo (L) and Concepcion.
Milan Melindo and Carlos Melo.
(L-R): ALA President Michael Aldeguer, Michael Domingo, Indonesian Rivo Ringkung and WBO Vice-President Leon Panoncillo.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Salven L. Lagumbay.
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