Banario edged out the tough Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai by split-decision on the lead card of ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE last Friday, 28 February, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, announcing his return to the featherweight division he once dominated.
“I am just thankful for everyone who kept believing in me, people who were always there since day one,” Banario said.
“This is very important for me, starting 2020 with a win and getting my hands raised in my return to my old division.
“It’s also a lot satisfying because my opponent is also a big name in Thailand. This is an unforgettable win.”
The win was far from comfortable for “The Rock.” He got rocked early by Wiratchai with a knee in the first round.
Then Banario showed where he improved the most.
Instead of crumbling the moment the pressure came rushing on, Banario recovered, went back to his game plan, and used his grappling to control the rest of the bout.
“What went right for me is we were able to implement 90-percent of our game plan,” Banario said.
“I knew I made a few mistakes, but the good thing about it is I was able to recover and block his following attempt. I did end up getting bruised, but the more important thing is we won.”
Usually faltering when the match goes deep, the Mankayan, Benguet native was in excellent shape against “OneShin” – he never showed signs of slowing down to steal the win away late in the match.
For Banario, that was a byproduct of months of preparation fueled by necessity and the urge to prove all his naysayers wrong.
“I came here thinking that I am going to win. Whatever happened, one way or another, I knew I had to win,” Banario said.
“If I lose here, I know I’ll continue to slide down the rankings. I can’t afford that, especially since I am a family man now. I have to go get that milk for my child.”
The world’s best strikers converge at the Phu Tho Indoor Stadium, in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam