By Ronnie Nathanielsz

Undefeated 20 year old Prince Albert Pagara faces a massive test when he defends his IBF Intercontinental super bantamweight title against battle tested veteran Raul Hirales of Mexico in “Pinoy Pride XXVIII” at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on November 15.

ALA gym’s head trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor  told the Standard/Viva Sports that the 30 year old Hirales who has a record of 22-3-1 with 11 knockouts is “a very strong fighter and is a world caliber opponent. It will be a big test for Prince Albert.”

However, Villamor said he believes the young Pagara  will be ready.

He said Pagara “is very determined and is training hard” for the fight and despite his impressive  record “is not over confident.”

Pagara along with WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes who will make a voluntary defense of his title against another Mexican Carlos Velarde and former world flyweight title challenger Milan Melindo who moved down to light flyweight to take on Saul Juarez are all working with strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson.

The respected American said all the fighters he is working with are in fine shape and giving it their best in the rigorous regimen he puts them through.

Pagara is coming off a smashing 1st round TKO over  Hugo Partida whom he dropped three times in the opening round before international referee Bruce McTavish called a halt  at 1:18 of the round last June 21.

Hirales, on the other hand, lost his last bout against menacing Luis Melendez of Colombia, dropping a ten round decision in a clash for the vacant WBO/NABO super bantamweight title last August 16.

Melendez is the same fighter who ended the promising career of Z “The Dream” Gorres in what was billed as a title eliminator which Gorres won handily but collapsed after the decision was announced and had to undergo emergency brain surgery, ending a career that had him on the verge  of a title fight against Mexico’s Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel.

Hirales also ended the career of Francisco Leal who was dropped in rounds 6 and 8 before being knocked out  in the 8th round on October 19, 2013.

Leal died three days later because of a brain injury.