MANILA, Philippines – Teen boxer Hipolito Banal Jr. got off to a strong start in the AIBA World Youth Champions in Sofia, Bulgaria, as he won his first match of the competition by beating Colombian Hernan Alarcon last Saturday.
The 17-year-old Banal, the younger brother of AJ Banal, won with scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28, in his first bout in the men's light flyweight division, according to PhilBoxing.
Alarco was taller than Banal, but the Filipino pug was able to pierce his guard with well-placed hooks and straights.
“Polly (Banal) was a little over-eager at the start, but eventually settled down and went with the fight plan of pressing the attack,” national team coach Ronald Chavez said, as quoted by PhilBoxing.
Banal will next fight Mert Karaclic of Turkey. The teenager is the last Filipino representative as his teammates – Dannel Maamo, Presco Carcosia Jr. and Sammy Bernabe Jr. – were eliminated in the preliminary rounds.