Better luck next time boy!
It was a stunning loss.Panamanian boxer Rafael ” El Torrito” Concepcion flew all the way from Panama for one goal–to be a world champion. And tonight, July 26, he did just that. And AJ “Bazooka” Banal, unfortunately, became his victim.
Prior to this fight, AJ Banal was both a hometown and a critics’ favorite. He came into this fight will sterling credentials–a fighter who has 15 wins, no defeats and tagged as the next Manny Pacquiao. He trained with the best of the best and even enjoyed the confidence of most fighting afficionados.
Concepcion, meanwhile, has scant credentials. He trained in New York, appeared to be a tough cookie and reports say, left his wife and kids to fight in Cebu for the world super flyweight belt.
The initial rounds showed Concepcion fighting for dear life. Early on, Banal was able to throw big punches, which left Concepcion’s leg wobbly. The Panamanian’s nose became bloodied early in the fight but it did’nt sap his energy.
Concepcion was a dirty fighter. It was obvious that Concepcion hold on to Banal’s arms while he punch the side of AJ’s body. When he’s ready to go down, he clutched Banal. When opportunity presents itself, he rubs his head on Banal’s head, trying to create contusions. Every round, he does that, throwing body punches to Banal and holding on when in trouble.
In the ninth round, Concepcion successfully weakened Banal that on the tenth round, the wily Panamanian caused a stunning defeat. Banal came down and was counted out.
Obviously, Concepcion won thru a combination of dirty and legal tactics. It was obvious that the Panamanian got away with it. But, hey, you gotta give credit to him. Boxing is a dirty sport and AJ’s corner should have realized that.
AJ Banal is a good fighter. He’s a trained counter puncher. He punches hard and shows true grit.
What he lacks is intensity. He’s also NOT a thinking boxer. That’s his weakness. He allows the enemy to control him instead of the other way around. Though dirty tactics employed by Concepcion, those body shots, should have been avoided had AJ Banal pushed him.
I just looked at Banal’s blogspot.com site and 72% of those who visited it says he’ll knock Concepcion out. Wow! I don’t know what they’ll do now given this stunning upset.
But, AJ, don’t lose hope. You’re just 19 years old. You have many years ahead of you. You’ll still box and train. One advice though—start training with your mind. I mean, physical conditioning, etc. can only be good if you have the mental toughness to go with it. You have been out-boxed, that’s evident here. And, please the next time you fight, fight as if dear life depends on it.
And oh, by the way, I commend ABS-CBN 2 for a job well done in this coverage. Yes, it was an upset but it sure showed Filipino boxing at its best. I just hope that ABS-CBN Sports continues giving Filipinos around the world such world-class sports coverages.