Pungluang Sor Singyu pulled off the biggest win of his career, stopping the favored AJ Banal in nine rounds to claim the vacant WBO bantamweight title Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines. The time of the stoppage was 1:45, as American referee Tony Weeks waved off the bout after Banal arose from a knockdown on unsteady feet.
Two of the judges had Sor Singyu ahead 76-75 while a third had Banal ahead 77-74.
The plodding Sor Singyu (43-1, 28 knockouts), of Bangkok, had to overcome the faster, more polished boxer in Banal (28-2-1, 20 KOs) of Cebu City, Philippines. An accidental clash of heads caused a cut on Banal’s right eyelid. Banal was also deducted a point in the sixth for low blows.
Sor Singyu has now won 20 straight since his lone loss three years ago, a split decision in Beligum to Stephane Jamoye. Banal must now restart the rebuilding process which began four years ago when, under similar circumstances, he was stopped in 10 by Rafael Concepcion for a vacant interim title.
In the co-featured bout, Filipino crowd favorite Rey “Boom Boom” Bautista (34-2, 25 KOs), of Bohol, won a split-decision over Daniel Ruiz (27-6-1, 19 KOs) of Los Mochis, Mexico, in a featherweight bout. One judge scored the bout 115-113 for Ruiz, but was overruled by the other two, who had it 116-112 and 115-113 for Bautista.
Ruiz came in three pounds over the limit at 129 and was fined 10% of his purse and forced to wear 10-ounce gloves.
The fights will be aired Sunday morning in the Philippines starting at 10:15 a.m. on ABS-CBN ch. 2, with a replay at 7:30 p.m. on Studio 23.
Photo / Jay Directo-AFP/Gettyimages
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. An archive of his work can be found at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.