|Pungluang Sor Singyu (R) of Thailand throws a punch against AJ Banal of the Philippines during their WBO world bantamweight championship at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila October 20, 2012. Pungluang won TKO on the ninth round. Photo by Cheryl Ravelo, Reuters.
MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Thai boxer Pungluang Sor Singyu claimed the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight belt after stunning Filipino fighter AJ "Bazooka" Banal in the main event of Pinoy Pride XVII Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Sor Singyu upset the more fancied Banal with a technical knockout in the ninth round, earning what is the biggest victory of his career.
The Thai fighter crushed Banal with a huge combination in the ninth round that forced "Bazooka" to the ropes and nearly out of the ring.
Veteran referee Tony Weeks called a stop to the bout even as Banal managed to beat the 10-count, as the Filipino fighter was unsteady on his feet.
The bout was stopped at the 1:45 mark of the ninth. At the time of stoppage, Banal was leading on one card, 77-74, while two judges had Sor Singyu ahead 76-75, according to a RingTV report.
In the early rounds, Banal proved to be the quicker and more skilled boxer. But according to PhilBoxing, Sor Singyu started taking control in the third round when he stunned Banal with a powerful combination.
Making matters worse, Banal suffered a cut above his right eye after an accidental clash of heads. He was also deducted a point in the sixth round for low blows.
Banal was able to overcome the blood and land some good shots on Sor Singyu, but it was the Thai who landed the more telling blows.
It was Banal's second career loss, dropping his record to 28-2-1, with 20 knockouts. Meanwhile, Sor Singyu won his 20th straight fight since losing for the first time against Stephane Jamoye in 2009.
Filipinos dominate in undercard
Banal's loss marred what was otherwise a great night of boxing for the Filipinos.
In the main undercard bout, Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista got a hard-fought decision victory over Daniel Ruiz.
According to PhilBoxing, Bautista was the more aggressive fighter but Ruiz did not back down, managing to land counter-shots against Bautista's assault.
Judge Epi Almeda scored the bout 115-113 for Ruiz, but Salven Lagumbay (116-112) and Samson Libres (115-113) saw the fight in Bautista's favor.
Meanwhile, Jason "El Niño" Pagara defended his WBO International junior featherweight title against Miguel "Hands of Stone" Antoine via a first-round knockout.
Antoine, who had claimed to fight like unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather Jr., was crushed by a huge left hand to the stomach and then a right to the jaw, sending him to the canvas.
He failed to beat the 10-count, and sustained his first career loss in the process.
Michael "Bruce Lee" Domingo knocked out Uganda's Mudde Ntambe Rabison in the second round.
Pinoy Pride XVII: Philippine vs the World will be telecast by ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday starting 10:15 a.m.