CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thailand’s Pungluang Sor Singyu stopped AJ “Bazooka” Banal of the Philippines in the ninth round to capture the vacant World Boxing Organisation bantamweight title on Saturday.
A four-punch combination to the jaw and face sent Banal, the top-ranked WBO fighter in the division, crashing to the canvas at 1 minute 45 seconds into the ninth.
The 23-year-old Filipino got up before the full count, but with with blood masking the right side of his face, American referee Tony Weeks did not allow him to continue.
The 24-year-old Thai right-hander, the WBO’s second-ranked bantamweight, was the aggressor throughout, using left jabs to devastating effect to split Banal’s right eyelid open in the third round.
This allowed Pungluang to continually back Banal, a fast, counter-punching left-hander, toward the ropes where the Thai unloaded with his powerful right fist.
The win was his 43rd, and his 17th against Filipino boxers, against a single loss.
Banal also became Pungluang’s 27th knockout victim in a professional career that began eight years ago.
Banal absorbed his second loss against 28 wins and a draw.
The previous WBO bantamweight champion, Nonito Donaire of the Philippines, has since stepped up to super-bantamweight class, and won the vacant WBO title earlier this year in a split decision against Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez.