Freeman Cebu Sports

Albert Pagara’s world title dream in tatters

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The world title dream of ALA Boxing Gym's 'Prince' Albert Pagara is in shambles after he suffered a devastating eighth round knockout loss to Mexican banger Cesar Juarez in the main event of 'Pinoy Pride 37:Fists of the Future' yesterday at the San Mateo Event Center in San Mateo, California.

After wresting Pagara's WBO Intercontinental super bantamweight title, Juarez immediately called out his former tormentor and five-division world champion Nonito 'The Filipino Flash" Donaire, Jr. for a rematch. Donaire who watched the fight at the ringside, readily accepted Juarez's challenge, setting up the stage for another no-holds-barred duel of epic proportions.

Juarez engaged Donaire in a brutal and bloody 12-round war, albeit in a losing cause during their WBO super bantamweight championship bout on December 11 last year in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Applying the same non-stop, rapid-punching style, Juarez baffled Pagara at the outset although the Maasin City warrior eventually figured out his foe and found his range midway in the opening session. A well-timed counter left hook by Pagara dropped the Mexican challenger towards the end of the round.

Juarez, however, quickly recovered and got back even stronger to send one of the brightest stars of Philippine boxing crashing back to earth with his relentless aggression. Pagara had his moments but it was very clear that Juarez was the more active and busier fighter.

Pagara's end came early in the eighth round when Juarez opened fired with four solid head shots in succession that saw the Filipino boxer backpedalling into his corner before going down at the seat of his pants for good. A visibly exhausted Pagara tried to beat the count but could not even get up, forcing referee Ed Corrientes to halt the bout at 15 seconds of round eight.

Dazed and glassy-eyed, Pagara spent several minutes on the mat before he regained his senses. He was carried on a stretcher on the way to the hospital for the mandatory post-fight check up.

It was Pagara's first taste of defeat after a rousing 26-0 start spiked with 18KOs and he learned it the hard way.

Juarez (18-5, 14KOs), on the other hand, redeemed himself after a stinging back-to-back defeats and now looks foward to a well-deserved return bout with Donaire.

Before Pagara slumped to a crushing setback, his older brother and WBO ranked No.1 junior welterweight Jason "El Niño" Pagara (39-2, 24KOs) won via third stoppage against Mexico's Abraham 'Swift" Alvarez in the supporting main event of ALA Promotions' second Pinoy Pride show in the United States. (FREEMAN)

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