The incredible career resurgence of Filipino hero Honorio “The Rock” Banario continued at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila on Friday, 20 April, at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR.
In an exciting contest between two of top lightweights in ONE Championship, Banario stood against Aussie hard-hitter Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, and pulled away with a split decision victory.
Banario utilized his footwork and head movement early in the first round, with Pang calmly stalking him around the ring. Each and every time the Australian threw leather, “The Rock” returned with a combination of his own. The capacity crowd became unglued, as Banario countered Pang’s attempts to trade with punches and kicks galore.
“The Hunter” was visibly frustrated as the second round opened up, but continued to pressure forward. Banario’s combinations were landing with feverish pressure, and were slowly adding up over the course of the bout.
Pang kept his composure as the round progressed, and connected with some of his trademark power strikes. The tides seemed to turn midway through the second round, as the Australian began to land more and more.
The final round came to a start the same as the other two, with Pang hunting, and Banario bouncing around the outside. Pang became the aggressor as the match wore on, and forced “The Rock” on the back foot. While it appeared the Aussie had the edge, Banario jolted forward with frenzied pressure towards the end of the bout, and that may have done the trick in the eyes of the judges.
Banario took the split decision nod, and continues his startling career resurgence. After losing the ONE Featherweight World Championship and going on a five-bout skid, the Filipino has completely recreated himself at lightweight. Now he finds himself sitting at 13-6, riding a five-bout win streak, and breaking into the upper tier of the division.