CEBU CITY: World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light welterweight champion Jason “El Nino” Pagara retained his belt through a unanimous decision Saturday night over Mexican challenger Aaron “La Joya” Herrera here at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
Besides Pagara, fellow Filipinos Genesis “Azukal” Servania and veteran Jimrex “The Executioner” Jaca also crushed their foreign opponents to win in ALA Promotion’s Pinoy Pride XX: “Laban kung Laban” Fight card.
The 24-year-old from Cagayan de Oro City and Herrera were sizing up each other in the opening round, before Pagara let loose with combinations and a crunching right upper cut that dropped the Mexican to the canvas.
Herrera, 24, immediately got on his feet referee Bruce McTavish could start the count. Herrera regained his form in third and fourth round and even unleashed a left hook that opened a small cut on Pagara’s right eye in the seventh round.
Pagara kept up a vicious attack to Herrera’s midsection throughout the fight. In the latter rounds he opened a cut on Herrera’s right eyebrow.
The fight went to the score cards, with Pagara getting a favorable 119-108, 116-111 and 115-112 scores from judges Arnie Najera, Tony Pesons and Salven Lagumbay.
“I thought I got him in the second round after I knocked him out but he went up. He (Herrera) has a good stamina but he never hurt me,” Pagara, who improved to 31 wins and two losses with 19 knockouts, told the Manila Times.
“My goal is to improve more my speed and power.”
Herrera dropped to 25-2 win-loss card with 17 knockouts.
The 21-year-old Servania scored an easy third round knockout win against Indonesian Isack Junior (24-8-2 card with eight Kos) to stay undefeated in 20 fights with eight knockouts. Servania delivered scorching punches to the ribs of the Indonesian fighter who went down in third with still 2:15 left.
Jaca, 29, saved his career with a unanimous win over Mexican Jose Emilio Perea (29-3 card with 20 Kos) to improve his record to 38 wins including 21 knockouts and six losses with three draws.
“I never felt that I’m in trouble except the seventh round,” said Jaca, who also bagged the vacant WBO oriental light welterweight title. “But I kept fighting and I didn’t give up because if ever I lose this fight, my career is over.” JOSEF T. RAMOS