CEBU, Philippines - ALA Boxing Gym's Jason ‘El Niño’ Pagara (25-1, 17KOs) eyes no less than a knockout victory when he defends his WBO International light welterweight title against Mexican challenger Aaron ‘Jewel’ Herrera (30-2, 19KOs) in the main event of "Pinoy Pride XX:Laban Kung Laban" fightcard this Saturday night at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
With the string of losses suffered by Filipino boxers at the hands of their Mexican rivals, Pagara firmly believes that the ball is now in his hands to deliver a sweet victory for the Philippines.
"This fight is very important for me that's why I am going to knock him out,” said Pagara in a press conference yesterday at the Aegean room of the five-star hotel.
The other day, Herrera boldly declared that he will vanquish Pagara and that the ALA fighter is not a special boxer as what many people think.
“He said that there is nothing special about my skills but let's just wait and see come the fight night. I also some tapes of his fights and I can say that he is an easy one to beat.”
The pride of Cagayan de Oro City also sees this bout as a chance to avenge the loss his his friend and stablemate Rey ‘Boom Boom’ Bautista, who was sent into retirement by Mexican Jose Ramirez last April 4 in Davao City.
“I trained hard for this fight. It's my turn to fight for our country and I will not let him get this win,” said Pagara, who is now ranked No.5 in the light welterweight division by the WBO.
Herrera, for his part, kept on hurling verbal jabs at Pagara, standing firm on his earlier statement that he came here to win.
“As I say, I came here in this country to win and this will be the first time that Pagara will face a strong fighter like me,” said Herrera.
In the other feature of an explosive triple-header, WBO Asia-Pacific super bantamweight champion Genesis ‘Azukal’ Servania (19-0. 7KOs) promised to not only defend his title but also to make an impression against Indonesian Isack Junior (20-3, 8KOs).
“I need to come up with an impressive win against him (Junior) to prove that I am worthy of the chance given by Top Rank Inc. to fight in Macau this July,” said Servania, who will see action on the undercard of the WBO/WBA flyweight showdown between Mexican champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo.
Jimrex ‘The Executioner’ Jaca (37-6, 21KOs) will also try to capture the vacant WBO Oriental light welterweight title when he slugs it out with Mexican Emilio ‘Gigante’ Perea (22-2, 14KOs).
Meanwhile, the official weigh-in of the slambang card co-presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports will take place at noontime today at The Event Centre of SM City-Cebu. (FREEMAN)