Light-footed Honorio Banario weaved around his heavy-handed opponent Adrian Pang en route to a split decision win, Friday evening during ONE: Heroes of the World at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
This is the former champion’s fifth straight win, raising his record to 13-6.
“I would like to thank the fans for supporting me. Mabuhay kayong lahat,” said Banario, who had his hand raised by special guest WBA Super Flyweight Champion Jerwin Ancajas.
The bout though was far from his decisive knockout win over Jaroslav Jartim a year ago.
Knowing the Australian was slower and older than him, Banario danced around him, settling for counter punches early in the bout. Frustrated, the 40-year-old freestyle fighter put his hands on his waist. Banario took advantage of this by peppering Pang with head kicks.
The trend continued into the second round.
“I would like to thank Adrian Pang for taking this fight. He is the greatest fighter I ever faced. This guy did not have any excuses to take this fight,” he remarked about his opponent.
With his back against the wall, Pang went for broke in the final round, throwing an array of strikes including a spinning back kick.
This is Pang’s 12th loss in his 36-fight pro career.
In the first fight of the main card, Akihiro Fujisawa (3-0) was able to make quick work of the debuting Kaji Ebin (2-1).
Fujisawa was able to score a quick takedown on the Filipino, whose debut was postponed last month. The takedown seemed to have dislocated Ebin’s shoulder due to the fall.
After picking up side control, the Japanese fighter rained on punches from side control to force the verbal tapout.
Two bouts added international flare to the event.
In his first bout since losing the ONE Featherweight World Championship to Martin Nguyen, Marat Gafurov (16-1) vented his ire on Emilio Urrutia (11-5) with a quick submission by way of arm triangle.
In a bout billed as Japan vs. Korea, it was striker Dae Hwan Kim (13-3-1) was able to pick up a unanimous decision win over 42-year-old veteran Masakazu Imanari (36-18-2).
It was a clash of styles as Kim was a striker while Imanari is a decorated submission grappler. The clash of styles though was able to provide comedic moments for the crowd. Moreover, Kim was able to connect on a few hard shots that led to the judges’ call.
ONE: Heroes of Honor Results
April 20, 2018 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
- Lightweight Bout: Honorio Banario def. Adrian Pang via split decision
- Featherweight Bout: Marat Gafurov def. Emilio Urrutia via submission – arm triangle choke (Rd. 1, 2:34)
- Bantamweight Bout: Dae Hwan Kim def. Masakazu Imanari via unanimous decision
- Catchweight Bout: Akihiro Fujisawa def. Kaji Ebin via verbal submission (Rd. 1, 1:48)