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Freeman Cebu Sports

Pagara in make or break fight

Lemuel P. Maglinte - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Unbeaten ALA Boxing Gym star 'Prince' Albert Pagara (26-0, 18KOs) faces a career defining fight as he defends his WBO Intercontinental junior featherweight title against former world title challenger Cesar Juarez (17-5, 13KOs) of Mexico in the main event of ALA Promotion's second Pinoy Pride show in the United States on July 9 at the San Mateo Events Center in San Mateo, California.

"I just finalized it with Zanfer Promotions and it is on," said ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer. "This is the biggest test for Albert. We knew it would be a dangerous fight and a risk to his WBO No.2 ranking but again just like (Mark) Magsayo, we need to find out if he has what it takes to be a world champion. This will be a make or break fight for Albert."

Knowing that he's in for a tough grind, the 22-year-old Pagara wants to make an impression as he seeks to inch closer to his dream of fighting for world title.

"This is the one that I always wanted," said Pagara. "It's important for me to win because I really feel that I am close to getting my dream of fighting for a world title."

"I already fought a lot of Mexicans but he is the most known and considered as a top caliber fighter so I should take advantage of this chance to show what I am really made of," added the Cagayan de Oro City warrior.

Juarez is the same toughie who figured in a bloody and brutal 12-round war with five-division world champion Nonito 'The Filipino Flash' Donaire on December 11 last year in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Donaire prevailed by unanimous decision to reclaim his WBO super bantamweight throne.

Juarez showed great recuperative powers in that bout, surviving two knockdowns before pushing Donaire to the hilt.

"I watched his fight with Donaire over and over and I see Juarez as a tough and brave opponent.That is why I have to train harder to make sure that I am ready when we face each other in the ring," added Pagara, who won by lopsided unanimous decision against Nicaraguan Yesner Talavera to keep WBO regional belt last February 27 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

Together with ALA chief trainer Edito Villamor, Pagara will leave today for the US where they will set up an extensive training camp.

"Albert already started training here but we are going to the US for an advance training. We will be setting up a camp at the Wild Card Gym of Freddie Roach and from there, we hope that we can spar with elite boxers out there," said Villamor.

Pagara also starred in ALA's breakthough Pinoy Pride event on US soil, knockouting out William Gonzales in round six on October 17 last year at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. (FREEMAN)

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