Boxing is not the biggest sport in the San Francisco Bay Area, but one can’t tell from the crowd that packed the San Mateo Event Center last July 9, Saturday night when ABS-CBN Sports + Action, ALA Promotions International and TFC (the Filipino Channel) brought to the region, “Fists of the Future” – an event with seven exciting boxing matches, highlighted by fights of the famous Pagara brothers of Cebu, Philippines versus their respective Mexican counterparts.
While WBO Junior Welterweight No.1 ranked Jason “El Nino” Pagara fulfilled his prediction of knocking out his opponent, Abraham Alvarez, which he did in explosive fashion via a picture-perfect right hook that crashed Alvarez in the 3rd round for good in their scheduled 8-rounder, his brother “Prince” Albert Pagara suffered the first loss in his career by way of a shocking, come-from-behind 8th round KO in the hands of Cesar “Corazon” Juarez.
Before his loss, “Prince” Albert Pagara was rated 10th by WBC, 4th by IBF and 2nd by WBO at 122 lbs. Juarez was unrated. After his scintillating victory over “Prince” Albert Pagara, Juarez called for a rematch against five-division world champion and current WBO Junior Featherweight Champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire. In December 2015, Donaire took the full 12 rounds before he could beat Juarez by a unanimous decision. It remains one of the toughest wins for Donaire.
Juarez is now the new WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight Champion and improved his win-loss record to 18-5, 14 KOs. He performed as he predicted: “My style is attacking and attacking, overwhelming my rivals but throwing a lot of punches.” He had said last June that his aggressive nature would be too much for “Prince” Albert Pagara to handle. “Prince” Albert Pagara showed a lot of promise in the opening round, even knocking down Juarez with a clean left hook. But by the 7th round, it was clear that he was in trouble and at :15 of the 8th, Juarez dealt him a killer combination that sealed the win for the Mexican.
Hopeful For Philippine Boxing in the U.S.; More World-Class Fights in September
Meanwhile, ALA Promotions International released this official statement on Prince Albert Pagara’s condition:
“Albert is fine. He just got discharged from the ER. He was taken to Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto CA.
“The attending doctor advised he could fly back to the Philippines on Monday. All the tests, including the CT scan, came back negative. The doctor also advised not to have Albert participate in any contact sports for at least two weeks.”
ALA Promotions InternationaI President and CEO Michael P. Aldeguer said in a statement: “It is unfortunate that Albert Pagara suffered his first career loss tonight. But on a positive note, we’re very grateful with the crowd turnout. We had exciting fights from the first bout down to the main event and tickets were sold out. Overall, it was a successful show – achieving ALA Promotions, ABS-CBN Sports, and TFC’s thrust to stage world-class boxing events all over the world. We’re excited to do even a bigger show later this year at a bigger venue in StubHub Center, LA on September 24th.”
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Head of Integrated Sports Dino Laurena said: “The Pagara brothers gave us a good fight last Saturday in ‘Fists of the Future’ showing us their great determination in boxing. Congratulations to Jason for winning his fight against Abraham Alvarez, keeping to his prediction that their fight won’t last long and defeating his opponent in the 3rd round. Albert was not as fortunate having lost to a more seasoned boxer in Cesar Juarez. In spite of this loss, I know that Albert will come back even stronger and wiser in his next fights. Indeed, these brothers are very much still fists of the future of Philippine boxing.”
ABS-CBN North America Head of Events, Ad Sales and Trade Marketing Ricky Resurreccion said: “On behalf of our COO Raffy Lopez and our Managing Director for North America Olivia de Jesus, the entire TFC family couldn’t be happier with the way the event went. While of course we were deeply saddened by the defeat of Prince Albert Pagara, the Filipinos definitely made a mark in the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Resurreccion added: “It was an impressive night for this glorious sport in three levels: first was the impressive, wall-to-wall action from the five undercards, the feature fight of Jason Pagara, and the main event of Albert and Cesar. Second is the world-class production and staging of the live fight and the broadcast side of it. Third was the insane amount of support this event got from boxing fans of all ages, sizes, and color. We were gladly impressed by the huge turn-out by our Kapamilya who heeded the call to support our Pinoy ring warriors live. This experience for sure strengthens the resolve of the triumvirate of ABS-CBN Sports + Action, ALA Promotions, and TFC, to elevate and champion Philippine boxing onto the world stage.”
Middleweight Ricardo Pinell (14-2-1, 8 KOs) knocked out Robert Yong (5-9-2, 4 KOs) at 1:44 of round two. Super Welterweight Mauricio Zavaleta (3-2-1, 2 KOs) defeated Darren Mallard Jr (3-2-1) by six round majority decision. Super featherweights Pete Doran (14-0-1, 11 KOs) and Edgar Gabejan (27-33, 9 KOs) fought to an eight round split draw. Flyweight Israel Hernandez (1-2-1) defeated Michael Flores (0-1) won by unanimous decision. Super lightweight Lennard Davis IV (1-0) defeated David Figueroa (1-1) by four round unanimous decision.