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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:20 pm 
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AJ Banal and Cebu’s secret nightmare


By Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:55:00 07/29/2008

MANILA, Philippines—They all loved to say of Alex John Banal that the celebrated young boxer would be the immediate heir to the country’s boxing superhero Manny Pacquiao.

That was before the numbing nightmare inside the New Cebu Coliseum last Saturday.

Now, all those who sank with AJ in the 10th round of his fight for an interim world title against an unheralded Panamanian would not even hasten a guess if Banal could still qualify as bag boy or errand boy of the great Pacman.

There was paralyzing disbelief after Banal, who took control of the fight early and was threatening to dominate, tottered and sank senseless by the ring post in the 10th round.

His handlers, led by the Villamor brothers Edmond and Edito, were hollering and desperately ordering AJ to spring back, rise, get up as referee Raul Caiz Jr. tolled the KO count.

* * *

No way. Grand and luminous like a brand-new luxury international vessel as AJ had loomed before the maiden championship voyage, the poor fighter was pitifully reduced into a damp paper boat.

The failed trip to ultimate stardom was so tragic Banal collapsed a second time on his way to the dugout.

It’s easy to say that, more than from sheer exhaustion, AJ sank again upon realizing the great number of believers who came running to the coliseum and ended up damned victims of the boxing disaster.

* * *

Banal, for sure, must’ve felt like that dumb ship captain who foolishly drove the Titanic against a killer iceberg out there in the ocean—and next woke up to realize it was too late.

Indeed, the Banal fight for the WBA interim super flyweight title opened like a daydream. He had a perfect start, was landing crisp combinations as he followed orders from his corner.

Banal was counterpunching perfectly against the charging Rafael Concepcion who was labeled El Torito or Baby Bull.

* * *

For some moments in the first half of the bout, Banal indeed appeared like he just would’ve to go through the formalities of a coronation.

He looked overqualified to finish off an outmatched foe.

Actually, the bout had started to shape up like a punching picnic for the celebrated Banal—until Concepcion gallantly waded through the hail of punches and dug a couple of big blows to the body.

This came in the third round.

No, the Panamanian did not hit the jackpot, but that all-revealing incident in the third opened great possibilities of a hard-won stoppage.

* * *

It would indeed not be easy because, as Concepcion explained after the victory, he had to surpass himself to survive the punishment from his sharp-punching foe.

Naturally, there were various expert reviews, including one which claimed Banal had overtrained.

Maybe but, more than possible burnout, it was dumb, inferior training which led to the Saturday nightmare inside the steamy Cebu Coliseum.

In the first place, it was not an infant bull, but a fully mature warrior Banal faced.

Worse, this seasoned bull decided to gore Banal where he could not take it—around the belly.

* * *

Banal was trained to be the better boxer, and he looked it for most of the bout.

Concepcion had to practically walk through a wall in order to win.

He may not be the better boxer but he was the stronger, more solid warrior.

In the final analysis, it can also be said that Concepcion stole victory because he had the better corner.

His chief handler, Hector Roca, readily shifted tactics after his fighter fell an easy prey to Banal’s sharp counterpunching.

Roca ordered Concepcion to go down and shift the attack to the body.

The reason is simple: you cannot effectively counter blows to the body without exposing part of your belly.

Meanwhile, Banal’s cornermen could only stare in awe as Concepcion gallantly dug deeper in the succeeding rounds.

* * *

What would ultimately be exposed was this secret nightmare inside Banal’s (Bazooka) bubble gum belly.

He had succeeded in concealing this until the third round against Concepcion.

The hideous result was history in reverse: Lapu-Lapu being shocked and stopped by Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan.

The full-house crowd, including Games and Amusements Board staffers who took over the working space reserved for media people, visibly felt they had entered the wrong theater.

They came to witness an epic featuring a native warrior but ended up shocked, paralyzed.

They all sank with the unprepared Filipino boxing dreamboat.

===================================


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Poor old man just wouldn't go away like Antonio Margarito. :biglaugh:

Nah, seriously. I'm a fan of manong Recah. Although I've been disagreeing with some of his columns lately, I respect his freedom of speech. :D

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Last edited by the_answer on Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:26 pm 
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Nice jab against GAB staffers...lol

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:35 pm 
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it's a free press...everybody is entitled to their own opinion..

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:11 pm 
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IMHO nothing is wrong with that article....


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:31 pm 
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This is the only paragraph I find true in Recah's entire article . . . :lol: :lol: :lol:

"The full-house crowd, including Games and Amusements Board staffers who took over the working space reserved for media people, visibly felt they had entered the wrong theater."


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Banal’s (Bazooka) bubble gum belly...funny :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:08 pm 
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Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:15 pm 
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knives574 wrote:
Image






Nice one. Can you do a Cotto (with ODLH in background?)


The article is nice, too. Reality bites. 8) 8) 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:27 pm 
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new town wrote:
This is the only paragraph I find true in Recah's entire article . . . :lol: :lol: :lol:

"The full-house crowd, including Games and Amusements Board staffers who took over the working space reserved for media people, visibly felt they had entered the wrong theater."


ive read another local boxing journalist crying foul over the same issue.

according to him, he felt like a squatter because the portion that was supposed to be alloted for them have been taken by other personalities. tsk tsk tsk

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:29 pm 
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Location: If worms had guns, birds wouldn't mess with them.
btw, the article is a painful truth. i dont have problems with it.

the old guy is just telling it as it is. there might some exaggerations but generally the article has some sense in it.

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If you have been criticized and charged with negative things by other people; don't get affected. Their opinion is not your reality. It's theirs. Their negativity is a reflection of their own unhappy existence.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 3:40 pm 
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nandi wrote:
knives574 wrote:
Image






Nice one. Can you do a Cotto (with ODLH in background?)


The article is nice, too. Reality bites. 8) 8) 8)


what do you mean? i didn't photochopped it..

it was even posted on the main page.. :D

http://philboxing.com/news/story-18084.html

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:07 pm 
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Nope! Nothing wrong. Banal better read this. This might awaken him. 8)

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To me, he is every bit as exciting as Prince Naseem Hamed"
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Yeah, truth hurts ika nga. :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:20 pm 
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Nightmare in Colon street i guess....:(

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