by Ronnie Nathanielsz
A large crowd showed up at the official weigh-in for “Pinoy Pride XX” at the SM Event Center here in Cebu after word apparently spread that the protagonists in the main event were not only terrific fighters but also good-looking.
Challenger Aaron “The Jewel” Herrera (25-1, 17 KO’s)was described by several girls as a dusky look-alike of popular showbiz star Derek Ramsey while defending WBO International light welterweight champion Jason “El Niño” Pagara (30-2, 19KO’s) has already developed a following as one of the rising stars from the ALA Gym.
Both Pagara and Herrera looked trim and sharp with Pagara coming in one pound under the light welterweight limit of 140 pounds and the Mexican Herrera weighing in at 139 ½ pounds.
Pagara who is making the second defense of the title he won with a smashing 6th round TKO over rugged Mexican Rosbel Montoya in a grudge rematch last August 2012 after dropping a ten-round decision in their first meeting on September 10, 2011 is coming off a 1st round knockout of previously undefeated Miguel Antoine (17-0-1, 9 KO’s) of Barbados late last year.
Not to be outdone Herrera scored a cracking 1st round knockout over experienced Jorge “Tigre” Pimentel taking him out with a vicious hook to the liver on July 21, 2012 after earlier scoring a 1st round TKO over Zaid “The Terminator” Zavaleta on April 21, 2012 in a win that the Mexican media described as “spectacular.”
Pagara who is ranked No. 4 in the world by the WBO realizes that he faces the fight of his life against Herrera and has trained harder than ever and is determined to score an impressive win, even looking at a knockout if the opportunity presents itself.
Herrera has also trained in the hot and humid weather of his hometown in Yucatan, Mexico and said he is ready to go twelve rounds if he has to but doesn’t believe it will take that long for him to win by a knockout saying he had seen some of Pagara’s fights on You Tube and was not impressed.
A trim and ready Jimrex “Executioner” Jaca (37-6-3, 21 KO’s), determined to regain his standing in the light welterweight division came in at exactly 140 pounds unlike his previous bout in which he was at least two pounds over the limit and looked sluggish.
Jaca knows that a big win in his battle for the vacant WBO Oriental light welterweight title against Mexico’s Jose Emilio Perea (29-2, 20KO’s), would revive his career that once rode high after a war with Juan Manuel Marquez in which he bloodied Marquez and gave the Mexican legend more than he could handle but got careless, gwas nailed with big counter in the 9th round and lost by knockout.
Jaca’s opponent who is trained by Ernesto Salgado Garcia who was in Marquez’ training team for the Jaca fight said they know how to beat Jaca whom he said is not the same after the KO by Marquez.
Perea first tipped the scales one pound over the limit but shed off the excess weight before WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo okayed the bout.
Undefeated super bantamweight Genesis “Azukal” Servania (19-0, 7 KO’s) who has impressed Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and his matchmakers weighed in at 122 lbs for his ten-round non-title bout against Isaac Junior of Indonesia (20-3-2, 8 KO’s) who weighed in at 124 pounds and was asked to shed off one pound which he did.