Saturday, February 16, 2019

No other way but up

CEBU. Jason Pagara (right) drops Cesar Chavez twice in their fight in Davao City to defend his WBO title. (Ruel Rosello)

DAVAO CITY — There's no other direction for Jason Pagara’s career but up after a picture-perfect victory last Saturday night.

Pagara (35-2, 21 KOs) was true to his word and ended the night of Mexican challenger Cesar Chavez (24-8, 12 KOs) in the second round with vicious left hook to the head that dropped him hard to the canvass and forced veteran referee Bruce McTavish to stop the fight in the 1:56 mark.

“As he was going up the ring I saw his body and that I knew that I would target his body,” said Pagara, who successfully defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light welterweight strap.

Pagara targeted the body of Chavez and dropped him twice.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer has huge plans for Pagara this year, a fight in the US on May 23 in San Diego in ALA Promotions first promotion in the US and a big event in either September or October at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

“I'll train really hard. I'm ready for whatever ALA Promotions' plan for me,” said Pagara.

Pagara will be leaving for the US next month to train there along with coaches Edito and Edmund Villamor.

Genesis Servania (26-0, 11 KOs) chased Juan Luis Hernandez (17-4-1, 9 KOs) all night long before cruising to a one-sided unanimous decision win.

The 23-year-old Servania, who successfully defended his WBO Inter-Continental super bantamweight strap, won on scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 119-109.

Hernandez was backpedaling the most of the fight with Servania spending most of his time chasing the 34-year-old Mexican. Hernandez apologized after the fight that he didn’t engage most of the fight because he injured his right hand early in the fight.

“It wasn’t his best performance but the other guy doesn’t want to fight. He will learn from this. This is a learning process. If an offer comes (to fight for a world title) then we’ll grab it,” said Aldeguer.

Servania is the mandatory challenger the WBO super bantamweight division, in which Cuban superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux is the champion.

Unbeaten Arthur Villanueva (27-0, 14 KOs) totally outclassed former WBO flyweight king Julio Cesar “Pingo” Miranda (38-12-2, 29 KOs), beating him by a lopsided unanimous decision.

Villanueva was always a step ahead of a very tough Miranda, who never looked like the “Pingo” Miranda of old in this fight.

The judges saw Villanueva winning almost every round with scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 98-92.

“Arthur showed a lot of promise. He fought a very experienced fighter and that’s not easy,” said Aldeguer. “He needs to learn and he learned a lot against a veteran guy in Miranda. If a big offer comes then we will take it.”

The 26-year-old Villanueva is on the brink of a world title shot because he’s rated highly in all four major boxing sanctioning bodies. His highest rating is in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight division at No. 3, wherein the current titleholder is Zolani Tete.

Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8 KOs) demolished a game Thai Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8 KOs) in the fifth round with thudding overhand right to the head, while Arjan Canillas (10-0-2, 8 KOs) stopped Indonesian Stevi Ongen Ferdinandus (15-8-1, 8 KOs).
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