Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario continued his career resurgence in the lightweight division on Friday, 20 April.
The Filipino hero clashed with Adrian “The Hunter” Pang at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in Manila, Philippines. After three rounds of action, he squeaked by his Australian foe, and left the Mall Of Asia Arena with a split decision victory.
Banario brought the capacity crowd to their feet, and sent the local fans roaring with every kick and left hand that landed on the Aussie. Any time Pang threw a strike, the local favorite retaliated with a combination of his own. In fact, “The Rock” nearly overwhelmed Pang towards the end of the opening frame, as he went on a kicking spree that stunned “The Hunter.”
Pang’s frustration showed in the second round, but he opened up his arsenal even more, and kept the pressure on the local favorite. While Banario continued to throw fast and heavy shots, the Australian was getting the better of the exchanges, and seemed to outpoint the Filipino halfway through the stanza.
It was anyone’s match entering the third and final round. Pang maintained his high level of aggression, and constantly forced “The Rock” to back away. Banario kept moving and firing in with shots, but perhaps turned the tide in his favor by pressuring his Australian nemesis towards the very end.
The judges were torn, but ultimately, a split decision was awarded for Banario, which created another eruption from the fans in the Mall Of Asia Arena.
With the victory, the Filipino moves his record to 13-6, and is now on a five-bout win streak. His startling career resurgence continues, and has no signs of slowing down.