By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO International light welterweight champion Jason Pagara is ready for whatever his touted opponent, Mexico’s devastating puncher Aaron Herrera brings, when they clash at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu in the ALA Promotions-ABS-CBN “Pinoy Pride XX” fight card on Saturday.
The fights will be telecast at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday over Channel 2.
ALA Promotions patron Tony Aldeguer told the Manila Standard that Pagara “has been sparring very well and is prepared for a tough fight” against Herrera who sports an impressive record that includes 17 knockouts in 25 wins with only one defeat.
Aldeguer told us that Pagara has been sparring with aggressive southpaw Jimrex Jaca (37-6-3, 21KO’s) who is also expected to have a tough time in what promises to be an action-packed bout against Mexican Jose Emilio Perea (27-2, 14 KO’s) for the vacant WBO Oriental light welterweight title.
Jaca is coming off a 7th round TKO of Thailand’s Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit last March 2 while Perea dropped Francis Javier Reza three times in the 5th round to win by an impressive TKO.
The Mexican warriors are scheduled to arrive in Cebu on Tuesday in time for the pre-fight press conference on Wednesday.
Pagara has also been sparring with talented prospects from the Philippine amateur national pool.
The 24 year old Pagara who has a record of 30-2 with 19 knockouts has beaten some tough opponents but a review of Herrera’s last fight in which he scored a first round knockout of Jorge Pimentel on November 3, 2012 following an earlier 1st round TKO of Zaid Zavaleta on April 21, 2012 showed the Mexican will be hard to beat although Pagara and his training staff headed by Edito “Ala” Villamor isn’t fazed.
In two big wins prior to this, Herrera beat the veteran Jose Yanez by T.K.O. in the second round in November 2010 and on March 23, 2011 Aarón knocked out Lizandro de Los Santos to win the WBC Mundo Hispano Lightweight Championship.
Pagara himself scored a smashing 1st round knockout of previously undefeated Miguel Antoine who had a record of 17-0-1 with 9 knockouts in his last fight at the Mall of Asia.