Pagara eyes redemption in Japan
Jason “El Niño” Pagara will look to bounce back from a subpar performance in his last fight as he takes on the unbeaten Hiroki Okada for the vacant WBO Asia Pacific super lightweight title on December 19 at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The 29-year-old Pagara settled for a split draw against unheralded Kenyan boxer James Onyango in a bout he was expected to win easily last September in Cebu City.
Pagara holds a record of 40 wins with 25 knockouts along with two defeats and one draw while Okada sports a 19-0-0 record with 11 knockout wins.
Pagara became the top ranked junior welterweight contender in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) a few years back and is now currently ranked number 8 in the welterweight division that has Australian Jeff Horn as the current champion.
Despite being ranked high in the WBO, Pagara has not fought for a world title ever since.
According to one of his trainers, Edito Villamor, Pagara’s fight against Okada is an important one for the native of Maasin City.
“He has to win this fight for his future in boxing. I think he already learned from his previous bout. There’s a lot of big opportunities for him waiting if he wins this fight,” said Villamor.
Villamor believes Pagara is mature enough to learn from the mistakes he made against Onyango.
“This is a very crucial fight for him. He will fight in the hometown of his opponent, who is an undefeated boxer and is known to be a tough boxer.”
Pagara is also hopeful that he could win against Okada, the reigning Japanese super lightweight champion. He said this may be his key to land a world title fight.
“Whatever happens on December 19, only God knows. But I am a hundred percent prepared and I am well conditioned for this fight.”
Villamor and Pagara are set to fly to Tokyo, Japan, on December 17.
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