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It was about three weeks ago when I recommended to boxing trainer and former world champion boxer Robert Garcia that he looked into training fighters from Cebu’s ALA Boxing stable after receiving an e-mail from ALA Promotions exec Michael Aldeguer and trainer Edito Villamor regarding bringing some of the stable’s best fighters to train with him in his Oxnard gym.
<< CLICK TO WATCH MY INTERVIEW WITH ROBERT GARCIA
Garcia, who currently trains world champions Brandon Rios and Nonito Donaire Jr., received some clips this week from Aldegeur on hard-hitting prospect AJ Banal (24-1-1, 19KOs). Contrary to a report on the internet, Garcia has not signed up yet to train the 22-year-old Cebuano and has some concerns on Banal after seeing some clips on internet. “I found something on Youtube that you know.. I don’t know. I’m going to have to see his fights; the ones that they sent me, the ones that I see. But the ones that I’ve seen, I don’t know who he was fighting, but it kind of gave me an idea that he didn’t want to fight, he went down, and it didn’t look like he wanted to continue on,” Garcia told me on Monday night, May 2 when I stopped by to visit together with ESNEWSReporting.com’s Elie Seckbach. The fight Garcia alluded to was Banal’s controversial seventh round DQ win over Luis Alberto Perez back in October.
(Check out photos from today’s Grand Welcome by clicking here)
Banal also received criticism from boxing fans when he dropped the first contest of his career to Rafael Concepcion back in July of 2008. Banal was ahead on points through ten rounds, when Concepcion hit him with a body shot that ended the night for Banal.
Garcia did later on said that it’s hard to judge from the clip that he watched, and that fighters like Manny Pacquiao himself had bounced back from knockouts early in their career, only to reach unprecedented heights in the sport. I personally consider Banal as one of the top 10 fighters from the Philippines today, and is still just improving. Garcia is interested in training fighters from the ALA Gym, but simply wants to make sure he takes on fighters that are not going to quit which is a trait Mexicans are very keen on just like how Antonio Margarito did not quit against Pacquiao, and unlike how Oscar Dela Hoya did the opposite. Another one of Garcia’s fighters in Rios, also displayed the same when he did not give up in his last fight against Miguel Acosta, only to come from behind and score a surprising KO win in the 10th round.
Banal is definitely an exciting prospect, and would benefit greatly in the event that this partnership comes to reality. He’s young, coachable, and packs a punch. He has also benefitted from the strength and conditioning program ALA has added to their training under Pio Solon.
Straight from dSource Exclusive Interview:
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REPORT ON PACQUIAO’S TRAINING CAMP DIRECTLY FROM HIS SPARRING PARTNERS
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