JUST TOO GOOD
Against separate opponents who were busy running around instead of throwing punches, “Prince” Albert Pagara and Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo stamped their class in last Saturday night’s Pinoy Pride 35: Stars of the Future at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
Pagara, the reigning WBO Intercontinental junior featherweight champion, dispatched Nicaraguan Yesner Talavera via a unanimous decision (UD) victory, while Magsayo scored his own UD victory against Mexican Eduardo Montoya to clinch the WBO youth featherweight belt.
Talavera guaranteed a knockout going into the fight but did less to fulfill his promise as he refused to engage the charging Pagara.
Two judges scored the bout at 119-108, while the other saw it at 120-107, all for Pagara.
Talavera showed some flashes of brilliance with his superb footwork and timely counter punches that allowed him to dictate the tempo in the early rounds.
But Pagara started to connect, pinning Talavera against the rope on several occasions while delivering solid body shots.
Pagara downed Talavera in the seventh round with a solid right to the body.
From that point on, Pagara was the aggressor as Talavera just settled to look for ways to survive.
Pagara expressed dismay with the way Talavera fought.
“I was there to fight him while he was running away. I was kind of frustrated and not satisfied with my performance because my opponent did not fight like what he said. He kept on running but it will serve as a lesson for me because that was my first time to face such an opponent who uses his footwork to avoid my punches,” said Pagara, who secured his 26th win with 18 knockouts.
Talavera suffered his fourth loss with 15 wins and a single draw.
In the co-main event, Magsayo was also busy chasing Montoya, who refused to mix it up.
Magsayo tagged Montoya with several solid hooks in the early rounds.
Montoya survived Magsayo’s early onslaught but finally went down in the seventh round after receiving several body shots.
“I did not expect him to run around because he’s different in his previous fights. But I don’t blame him, maybe it’s me who lacked the ability to knock him out. I’m kind of disappointed with my performance but I am still thankful to God and to everyone who supported me,” said Magsayo, who remained unbeaten with 13 wins, 10 via knockouts.
Montoya suffered his fifth loss with 17 wins, 13 knockouts and a single draw.
Bigger fights await the two promising fighters.
“You got to give credit to Pagara because he brought the fight to his opponent who refused to fight and just ran around. He’s already matured and ready to take on bigger fights because I’ve seen a lot of improvements from him,” said ALA Promotions International CEO Michael Aldeguer.
Aldeguer announced that Pagara will spearhead a fight card in in San Francisco, California scheduled in July.
Up next for Magsayo is a showdown with American Chris Avalos (26-4, 19 KOs) as one of the undercards for the April 23 title-defense of WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito ”Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. against Hungarian Zsolt Bedak at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC). “
“We’ve already finished negotiating with Avalos’s camp and as what I’ve seen with Magsayo’s fight with Montoya, I think he is ready for that fight,” said Aldeguer.
In the undercard, ALA Boxing Gym prospect Jeo “Santino” Santisima escaped with his ninth with by beating Marco Demecillo via a seventh round knockout.
Amateur stand-out Kevin Jake Cataraja punished Mexican opponent Tony Rodriguez for a UD win in an eight-round duel, while former minimum weight world champion Florante “Little Pacquiao” Condes was stunned by a younger Melvin Jerusalem, who nailed a majority decision victory.
Elmo Trya also scored a majority decision win over Romeo Jakosalem, while former SEA Games bronze medalist Muhammad Ridhwan of Singapore scored his first professional victory against Melchor Roda also via a majority decision.
Also winning was Esneth Domingo, who disposed of Mandaue City’s Vic Ejercito via a first round TKO.
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