Connecticut middleweight Paul Banasiak stepped in on a few days’ notice to face Chile’s Ivan Galaz in the second fight of the GLORY 48 NEW YORK Superfight Series card.
Galaz is a time-served veteran of the South American kickboxing circuit, where he has previously faced GLORY fixtures Alex Pereira and Guto Inocente, albeit without success. Banasiak is a Muay Thai stylist who has competed in Thailand and Europe as well as in his native USA.
The tall and rangy Banasiak is a proficient kicker and that Muay Thai style was evident in the sharp, driving knees he targeted Galaz’s midsection with early and often. He would get Galaz’s attention with punches and then take hold of the Chilean and hammer the knee home.
Banasiak’s kick setups were equally proficient as he forced Galaz to cover up and expose his legs for attacks by low kick. But the blows weren’t enough to slow Galaz down. Galaz is more of a puncher than a kicker and at every opportunity possible, he threw hard punches at Banasiak, whether on the attack or countering one of Banasiak’s many kick attacks.
Over time, Banasiak’s sharpness slightly lost its edge and Galaz was able to smother the Connecticut fighter’s cleaner work and turn the fight into a brawl. That approach works well for him and paid dividends at the end of the second round.
The two were in an exchange when Galaz fired off an overhand right which sailed into Banasiak’s jaw and sent him crashing to the canvas. Banasiak beat the count but the knockdown meant the round was an instant 10-8 win for Galaz.
It turned out to be a fight-winning blow for Galaz: when the third round played out with neither fighter finding a finish, it went to the judges. One had the fight a draw and the other two had Galaz the winner by a score of 29-27, returning a majority decision for the Chilean middleweight.
Ivan Galaz def. Paul Banasiak, Majority Decision (29-27, 29-27, 28-28)