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Thursday, June 24, 2021

‘Talking tough’

IT’S Albert Pagara who usually gives his opponents a boxing clinic every time he sets foot in the ring but it could be the other way around this time, as Nicaraguan prospect Yesner Talavera vows to school Pagara in art of the sweet science this weekend.

“I will give him a lesson in boxing,” said the confident 21-year-old Talavera, who trains under the tutelage of two-division world champion Rosendo Alvarez.

Talavera slugs it out with the 22-year-old Pagara for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super bantamweight crown in the main event of Pinoy Pride 35 – “Stars of the Future” this Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

Though he lacks sting in his punches, the 21-year-old Talavera believes that he has the edge with his speed against Pagara, 25-0 with 18 knockouts.

“I consider myself a very fast fighter,” he said. “I’m very passionate with the sport. Pagara is good but I’m faster. He’s good but he’s not better than me.”

Low KO percentage

Talavera is 15-3-1 with four knockouts and was once ranked No. 15 in the WBO. He has won four of his last five fights, with his latest declared a no contest against Guillermo Ortiz. His losses were close – a technical decision to German Lara, a majority decision against Rafael Castillo and a disqualification against Ramon Mendez.

“Pagara is a tough opponent but he’s not invincible. In the ring, anything can happen. It’s very much possible to knockout Pagara on the 27th,” said Talavera’s coach Alvarez, who gave the great Ricardo Lopez two classic fights.

Mexican fighters Eduardo Montoya and Tony Rodriguez also vowed to go home with victories.

“I’m making it clear to everybody that I came here to win. My brother (Rosbel Montoya) also won here. I have prepared two months for this. This is going to be a good fight,” said the 22-year-old Montoya.

Montoya (17-4-1, 13 KOs) faces off with unbeaten Mark Magsayo (12-0, 10 KOs) for the WBO Youth featherweight belt in the co-main event.

Fair judging

“I came here to win. I’m very well prepared. I’m going to try and give the Filipinos a good knockout,” said Rodriguez.

The 28-year-old Rodriguez (3-1, 1 KO) locks horns with former amateur standout Kevin Jake Cataraja (2-0, 2 Kos).

Edmuno Gaytan, Rodriguez’s handler, hopes that the judges will be fair to the foreign fighters this Saturday. Gaytan felt that his boxer Victor Olivo, who fought and lost by split decision against Milan Melindo last November, was deprived of a victory.

“I hope the commission will be fair this time.”
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