Thursday , April 26, 2018

Pagara ready for 'D-Day'

REIGNING International Boxing Federation (IBF) Inter-Continental super bantamweight champion Albert Pagara is ready for his Pinoy Pride 30: 'D-Day' encounter with hard-hitting Mexican Rodolfo Hernandez at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on March 28.

ALA Boxing Gym 21-year-old Pagara, boasting of an impressive 22-0 record with 15 knockouts, had studied fight videos of his Mexican opponent.

"Ga-right straight ug jab sya (Hernandez uses right straight and jab)," Pagara said in a recent interview with Sun.Star Davao at the ALA Boxing Gym in Cebu.

The Maasin, Leyte native said he's confident with his preparations having started his stay-in training at ALA Boxing Gym last February 15.

"Maayo man diri sa sulod kay sipti ko, focus ra pud sa training (It's good to stay here because I'm safe and I can focus more on my training)," Pagara said.

He, however, said that he's not giving any prediction on his fight, adding, "Tan-awon lang nato sa ibabaw sa ring. Di ko makasulti kung ma-knockout ba nako sya sa unsa nga round basta ihatag lang nako ang tanan sa laban (Let's just see what happens on the ring. I can't say about knocking him out in what round now but I'll give my all for the fight)."

Pagara, younger brother of reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light welterweight champion Jason "El Niño" Pagara, started in amateur boxing where he had clinched several gold medals, including those won in National Amateur Boxing Championships. But he shifted to professional boxing at 16, having been inspired by his elder brother's success.

Albert said, "Ang akong pangandoy ra gyud maahon akong mga ginikanan sa kahirapan. Kining pagboksing mao na ni akong trabaho, lingaw man sab ko ani (My only dream to give my family a better life. Boxing is now my job and I'm happy with it)."

He has made few investments, buying a house in Cebu where he also owns a small store as he continues to support his parents back home.

The 'D-Day' headlines Donnie Nietes who will defend his WBO light flyweight belt against Gilbert Parra of Mexico. The co-main event pits Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr. against Brazilian William Prado for the North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight title. (MLSA)