by Ronnie Nathanielsz

Undefeated IBF Intercontinental super bantamweight champion Prince Albert Pagara faces Mexico's tough Raul Hirales in a mandatory title defense at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on November 15.

The challenger's full name is Raul Benjamin Hirales Cuevas Jr. but he fights under the name Raul Hirales.

The Pagara-Hirales title fight will be on the undercard of WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes' title defense against either Carlos Velarde or Saul Juarez, the two fighters chosen by ALA Promotions from a list of five boxers whose names were submitted by Zanfer Promotions Fernando Beltran for Nietes to choose from for his voluntary title defense.

Pagara, the 20 year old rising star from the famed ALA Promotions has a record of 21-0 with 15 knockouts and won the title with a devastating 1st round TKO over cocky Hugo Partida who was dropped three times in the opening round before international referee

Bruce McTavish called a halt at 1:18 of the round.

The 30 year old mandatory challenger Hirales who is ranked No. 1 in the IBF  Intercontinental super bantamweight ratings has a record of 22-3-1 with 11 knockouts but is coming off a ten round unanimous decision  loss to 34 year old  Luis Melendez ont August 16 in Colombia in what was described as a stirring win by Melendez in what was regarded a minor upset.

Melendez is the same menacing-looking fighter over whom Z "The Dream" Gorres scored a lopsided ten round unanimous decision at the Mandalay  Bay House of Blues on November 13, 2009 in a fight which earned Gorres a title shot at Fernando "Cochulito" Montiel but regrettably the stylish southpaw collapsed after the decision was announced and underwent emergency brain surgery in Las Vegas which ended his promising career.

Hirales has scored some impressive wins including an 8th round TKO over Fernando Vargas last February 8 and a 3rd round knockout of Ernesto

Guerrero last May 17  and was on a six fight winning streak which included the fateful October 2013 fight with Francisco Leal, who Boxing Scene

reported "was too brave for his own good in an 8th round knockout that left him with brain injuries sadly leading to his untimely death just

three days later."

Hirales' loss to Melendez  was his first since 2012, when he suffered back-to-back defeats to then-unbeaten prospects Carl Frampton who recently won the IBF world super bantamweight title  and Adrian Young.

Well known American strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson who was commended for his getting Nietes into superb shape when he scored a devastating 9th round knockout of tough mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes of Mexico in a rematch on May 10 of this year in which he dropped Fuentes three times in the round, arrived on Monday to begin working with Nietes and Prince Albert Pagara for their November 15 title defenses.