DAVAO CITY -- The future of three of the most promising young Filipino fighters is at stake tonight in career-defining bouts in Pinoy Pride 29 - “Fists of Fury” at the University of South Eastern Philippines (USEP).
Jason Pagara (34-2, 21 KOs) defends his World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light welterweight title against Mexican challenger Cesar Chavez (24-7, 12 KOs) in the main event, while unbeaten Genesis Servania (25-0, 11 KOs) also places his WBO Inter-Continental super bantamweight belt on the line against Juan Luis Hernandez (17-3-1, 9 KOs) in the co-main event.
Undefeated Arthur Villanueva (26-0, 14 KOs) faces his toughest test against former world champion Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda (38-11-2, 29 KOs).
“This is a very important fight for him (Pagara). He has to win this Saturday,” said ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer.
ALA Promotions has already finalized its first show in the US on May 23 in San Diego, California and Pagara will headline that show. He will also be in a big card by ALA Promotions in September or October at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
A loss today may mean Pagara loses his spots in those cards.
Pagara, ranked No. 4 in the WBO, feels the importance of this fight and what is at stake if he wins this. That’s why he wants to put on a good show.
“I will give the people a good show,” he said. “He (Chavez) said that he’ll knock me out in five rounds, I will knock him out in two rounds.”
Servania also knows that this fight is very crucial for him because he is on the brink of a world title shot.
“I know this is a very important fight for me, because I might be fighting for a mandatory (title shot),” said the No. 1 ranked super bantamweight in the WBO. “I haven’t seen his fights but I assure you the fans will have a great time.”
Servania is hoping for a crack at current WBO and World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux, arguably the best fighter in the division.
Like Pagara and Servania, a world title shot is also just around the corner for Villanueva.
“All my fights from now on are important. I worked hard to be here. It’s very important for me to win, now that I’m very close to a world title shot,” said Villanueva.
Villanueva is ranked No. 1 in the WBO, No. 3 in the International Boxing Federation and No. 7 in the WBA.
In the undercard, undefeated Mark Magsayo (9-0, 7 KOs) squares off with Thai Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-3, 8 KOs); Arjan Canillas (9-0-2, 7 KOs) slugs it out with Stevi Ferdinandus (15-7-1, 8 KOs); Vic Saludar (8-1, 7 KOs) is up against Lester John Pronco (9-8-1, 6 KOs); Rafael Sueno (3-1, 3 KOs) takes on Arnold Garde; and Bryan Lobitania (9-0-3, 7 KOs) trades leathers with Armando Yee (2-6-3, 1 KO).