By Ronnie Nathanielsz
His personal problems that prevented him from training hard and keeping his focus when he lost a ten round decision to rugged Mexican Rosbel “The Wolf” Montoya last September 10th, 24-year-old Jason Pagara is out for revenge in his much-awaited rematch at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu this evening.
Pagara and youthful trainer Joseph Baldago made it clear that there will be no excuses this time as Pagara has trained diligently, is sharply focused, in great shape and hopes to redeem his reputation with a knockout victory.
Montoya who won but failed to wrest the WBO Asia Pacific Youth light welterweight title since he was one pound over the limit at the official weigh-in, didn’t make the same mistake again and checked in below the 140 pound limit as he battles Pagara for the vacant WBO International title, emphasizing that he had made the weight a couple of days ago.
Montoya kept his word and tipped the scales at 139 1/2 pounds during the official weigh-in at the SM Mall Event Center while Pagara also checked in at a fit and ready 139 1/2.
The Philippines vs Mexico fight card presented by the famed ALA PROMOTIONS in cooperation with the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN will be telecast on Channel 2 on Sunday at 10:15 a.m. with a replay at 6:30 p.m. over Studio 23.
Pagara steps into the ring hoping to improve on his record of 28-2 with 17 knockouts which would earn him a ticket to train in the US possibly under Robert Garcia, trainer of four-division world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
Montoya blamed his 6th round knockout to Argentina’s Claudio Alfredo Olmedo (24-3, 23 KO’s) in a WBO Latino Interim title fight last March 24 on his lack of preparation and the fact that Olmedo was “very strong and hit much harder than Pagara.”
Montoya said he has trained hard for the rematch with Pagara because he is certain the Filipino has prepared well and wants to avenge his previous loss.
Boxing writers in Cebu believe the battle between welterweight Jimrex Jaca, a hard-hitting southpaw and Mexico’s heavy-handed Angel Martinez is likely to turn into a slugfest that could well steal the show.
Jaca failed to make the weight on his first try coming in at 143 pounds but after some time he was able to shed off the excess weight and tipped the scales at 141 pounds with a one pound allowance over the junior welterweight limit since it is a non-title fight.
The southpaw Jaca (34-6-3, 19 KO’s) is best remembered for a gallant stand against Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez when he lost by a 9th round knockout on November 25, 2006.
When Martinez (18-2-1, 13 KO’s) learned about Jaca’s feats he backtracked on an earlier statement that Jaca only knocked out lightweights and had no real power, saying he respects Jaca and expects a good fight.
Undefeated 20 year old super bantam weight Genesis “Azukal” Servania, the sweet-punching fighter with a record of 18-0 with 6 knockouts hopes to break into the world rankings with an impressive performance against Jorge Pazos (21-3, 13 KO’s) following on his stunning 12th round TKO of many-time world title challenger Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia last June 2.