IT doesn’t faze AJ `Bazooka’ Banal that of the 42 wins that adorned the record of Thai Pungluang Sor Singyu, 14 of them were against Filipino fighters.
Nor is he awed by the fact that as early as eight years old, Sor Singyu was already competing in the sport of muay where he has fought 25 times.
“Hindi naman siya sisipa (during the fight). Malaki naman ang pagkakaiba ng muay at boksing,” said the 23-year-old Banal, who was just a few seats away from Sor Singyu during the second day of their Cebu-Manila press tour for their upcoming October 20 title fight for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight championship.
“Ako, nine-years-old pa lang, talagang nagbo-boksing na, kaya mas sanay ako sa kanya,” said the 23-year-old pride of ALA Promotions.
This will be Banal's first shot at a legitimate world championship, and he is up against a Thai fighter who has only lost once in 43 fights. Of his 27 KO victims, 10 of them were Filipino fighters.
“Baka mga tricycle driver naman ang mga `yun,” kidded Banal.
But Sor Singyu is definitely for real. He arrived in the country on Sunday night together with One Songchai Promotions representative Michel Du for the press tour that began on Monday in Cebu. The event will last a week, before the Thai fighter returns to Bangkok and resume his training for the biggest fight of his career.
The 24-year-old Thai says he sees the 12-round title bout that serves as the main event of Pinoy Pride 17 at the Mall of Asia Arena, to be over by the seventh round.
Banal, who has a menacing record of 28-1-1 with 20 KOs, also predicts a knockout against his Thai opponent during the boxing promotion presented by ALA Boxing and ABS-CBN Sports.
“Kung makakuha ng pagkakataon, i-knockout ko ito agad,” who was joined in the trip by trainer Edmund Villaflor and ALA Promotions executive Chad Canares.
Ranked one and two, respectively, by the WBO, Banal and Sor Singyu will be fighting for the title vacated by Mexican Jorge Arce.
“They are both mandatory title contenders as Arce moved up in weight and vacated the title,” added Canares.
This will be the second straight installment of the boxing series here in Manila following the WBO light-flyweight title defense of Filipino champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes against Mexican Felipe Salguero last June.