AJ Banal Talks About Pacquiao, Donaire And His Upcomg Fight.


Photo Credit - ALA Promotions

8CountNews' Owen Lagula had the chance to Interview one of the many Filipino boxers and a local pride, AJ 'Bazooka' Banal. Banal (31-2-1, 22 KO) hails from Cebu City, a place known as the boxing capital of the Philippines and about four hundred miles north of pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao's hometown, General Santos City. AJ shared his thoughts about the Donaire-Walters fight and the upcoming Pacquiao-Algieri match. He also talked about his coming super bantamweight non title fight against Thailand's Maxsaisai Sithsaithong (15-5-0, 4 KO)  in an action-packed boxing event dubbed as Pinoy Pride 28 "History in the Making", to be held at Waterfront, Cebu this coming Nov. 15. The boxing matches will feature local boxers against international fighters from Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea. Sanctioned by WBO IBF boxing organizations, Pinoy Pride 28 is promoted by ALA Boxing Promotions, the Philippines' premier boxing outfit.

On Donaire-Walters fight:
OL - What can you say about the recent fight between Nonito Donaire vs Nicholas Walters?

AB - Great fight, great show!
OL - What went wrong with Donaire's game plan? or Walters is just the better fighter? 
AB - Definitely a wrong plan for me. Sometimes we think we could do it but it cannot be. Although they do their homework, every fighter has their own assignment on how to win the fight! 

OL - After his devastating loss, do you think he can still bounce back? Will we ever see the old Donaire back again? 
AB - Yes, of course! He's a great boxer and also an intelligent and power puncher. Also he's a Filipino pride.

OL - At this point, should he think about retirement or take chances and do couple more fights to redeem his loss? 
AB - As a boxer we always want to fight the best to be a champion. It's up to him.

On Pacquiao-Algieri fight:

OL - What can you say about the upcoming Pacquiao-Algieri fight? Is it a competitive match or would you see it as a tune up fight for a possible Pacquaio-Mayweather fight?
AB - I don't know. Sometimes it's about faith. If Pacquaio loses, then a new champion will reign. If he wins, he will prove that he is still the best pound for pound champion in the world.

OL - Besides experience, what other advantages Pacquiao has over Algieri? 
AB - Speed and experience.

OL - Algieri stands as a big underdog in this match, but besides size advantage what else do you think he has that could pull a surprise upset for Pacquiao?
AB - A surprise is a surprise! We don't know. Maybe another well planned lucky punch! hahaha..

OL - Algieri is taller and bigger, but do you think he is no different compared to Antonio Margarito, are we going to see a badly beaten Goliath once again?
AB - Hopefully yes! I'm proud to be a Filipino.. I will support Manny!

OL - Are we expecting a stoppage win by Pacquiao? if yes, what round do you think? 
AB - Yes it's possible. It depends if Manny wants it early. He's the one fighting, so I wish the best for Manny's fight plan! 

OL - How will you compare Algieri over Pacquiao's previous opponents like Bambam Rios and Timothy Bradley?
AB - He's fresh, ambitious, and a very determined fighter. He is also young, so this could be his time to shine. Every boxer or fighter should have ambitions to be famous and become a champion, otherwise forget about boxing.

OL - Do you think a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. will likely happen? 
AB - Yes
OL - Who do you think needs the fight more Manny or Floyd? 
AB - The people who paid ppv and boxing fan around the world. Manny and Floyd has nothing more to prove, they're already legendary fighters.
OL - Aside from doing his congressional duties, Pacquiao is now seen coaching and playing in the country's professional basketball association (PBA), wearing a Kia uniform. How do you think this affects his training, preparations and focus to the fight. Can this be considered part of his training regimen or just one of the many distractions? 
AB - I see he is very focused and determined on this fight as he's always been before. He's just an unbelievably busy and talented person.

OL - We all know he is no longer the usual Pacquiao we see a couple of years ago, like all great fighters, his performance is dwindling to a gradual decline. How many more fights do you think Pacquiao can do before he hangs his gloves for good? 
AB - Depends on the outcome of the fight. We always evaluate ourselves after the fight. 

On AJ's fight:

OL - Do you think this fight will go your way? 
AB - Yes

OL - I see you have a better record (31-2-1, 22KO) against your opponent (15-5-0, 4KO), so it looks like the odds are on your side, but what will be your main advantage on this fight? 
AB - Experience, power and the will to win for my family! 

OL - How does your training go so far? is it a bit relaxed or you've been training like this is one of those title fights?

AB - It's the same, I train as if every fight is like a championship fight. Never underestimate your opponent. As I've said every boxer is ambitious.

OL - You had the chance to win a world title fight on two occasions but failed unfortunately. Although this next fight is non-title, how important is this for you in pursuing your quest for a world championship title?
AB - I will win for my family and for the people who believe in me. I believe I can be a world champion!

OL - Your last fight was very impressive, you looked like you're on the loosing end in the early round but you pulled a surprise blow to your opponent's ribcage that dropped him to his knees and eventually knocked out and lost. Everybody was thrilled. Do you think we will be expecting a similar kind of victory? Or it would be even more than that?
AB - I will give my everything and hopefully the outcome will turn good because I worked very hard for this fight. 

OL - At this point what do you consider your greatest arsenal? 
AB - The love for my family, they're my inspiration. Also the boxing fans specially in my home town, they always give me strength and courage to show the best of AJ Banal!

OL - Are we going to see a one of a kind knockout in your favor again this time? 
AB - Hopefully, we always want that to happen, but if not I'll just do my best to win the game.
OL - At what round do you plan to stop and win the fight? 
AB - Hoping it will be at round 1 if not round 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10..... Until we get it! 

OL You are moonlighting by selling real estates and I've heard you're making good money. How do you prioritize boxing over selling properties? Does fame pretty much help out in the marketing?
AB - I have my wife helping me with it. I am very happy, energetic, and inspired to do selling real estate, it is a serious business. I am happy because my company is also helping me out. But I must prioritize my boxing career first, anyway I have my wife who does selling houses in my absence and my boss is also very supportive. It's about team cooperation and good communication. 
Thank you!




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