Knockout party

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Sunday, June 22, 2014


THE PAGARA siblings didn’t fail to impress and stamped their class with spectacular knockout victories last Saturday night.

Both Jason and Albert Pagara showed that the future is indeed bright for the brothers after they demolished their Mexican foes in the co-headliner of Pinoy Pride 26 – “Fists of the Future” at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

“They have shown good promise,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said of the Pagara brothers.

Jason stopped tough Mexican Mario “Rocky” Meraz in the fourth round.

The opening round wasn’t a feel-out round at all as both boxers immediately traded heavy blows. Jason dropped the 25-year-old Meraz with a left hook-right straight
combination in that round.

In the third round, Jason got the better of a vicious exchange and rocked Meraz with a thudding left hook to the jaw, but failed to end the fight despite landing an array of heavy blows.

Jason tried his best again to stop Meraz in the fourth but the tough-as-nails Mexican managed to remain standing. He retaliated and wobbled Jason with a right straight that landed on the button. Jason, however, shook it off, landed a bone-crunching left hook to the jaw and followed it up with heavy blows that snapped the Mexican’s head back and knocked him down.

Referee Danrex Tapdasan waved the fight in the 2:59 mark despite Meraz beating the count and pleading to continue.

“He really looked unsteady,” said Tapdasan. “I looked at his feet and he was wobbly. I have seen enough ring tragedies. My No. 1 job is the safety of the fighters.”

Jason defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light welterweight belt.

“Jason showed relentlessness and heart. He has to train in the US. The question, however, is that is he at par with the big names? Hopefully he’ll be able to fight the big names in a tough 140-pound division,” said Aldeguer.

Jason improved to 34-2 with 20 knockouts, while Meraz dropped to 20-4 with 16 knockouts.

“I think it will be better for me to train in the US because I get to spar with bigger boxers, which we lack here. I want to fight (Brandon) Rios. It will be a good fight because he is a fighter,” said the 22-year-old No. 4 rated light welterweight in the WBO.

The younger Pagara, Albert, was more impressive and scored a quick opening round technical knockout of World Boxing Council (WBC) No. 13 ranked bantamweight Hugo Partida.

The 20-year-old Albert was aggressive and quickly landed a right straight that sent Partida to the canvass. Another right straight snapped Partida’s head back that had him holding on to the ropes and referee Bruce McTavish issued another count. Partida was sent down for the third time from a brutal counter left hook and McTavish saw enough and stopped the fight in the 1:18 mark.

“Albert is just 20. We are hoping to give him more Latin Americans, ranked fighters in the organization and bigger fights,” said Aldeguer.

Albert remained unbeaten with a 21-0 slate including 15 knockouts and captured the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) International super bantamweight strap with the win. The 26-year-old Partida, in the meantime, fell to 21-5-2 with 16 knockouts.

Former world title contender AJ “Bazooka” Banal (31-2-1, 22 KOs) survived an early scare and knocked out promising Indonesian prospect Defry Palulu (10-1, 9 KOs) in the main supporting bout.

Banal was floored with a left straight early in the opening round. However, the 25-year-old Cebuano kept his composure and stopped Palulu in the 2:59 mark with a left hook to the ribs.

Grizzled veteran Jimrex Jaca (39-7-4, 22 KOs), on the other hand, settled to a technical draw with Japanese Masayoshi Kotake (9-8-2, 5 KOs).

The fight was stopped by the ring physician after Jaca suffered a huge cut above his right eye from an accidental clash of heads.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 23, 2014.

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