Showing amazing resiliency after being knocked down in the dying seconds of the opening round by a vicious left hook from previously unbeaten Prince Albert Pagara, Mexico’s Cesar Juarez came charging back and eventually crushed the world title hopeful with a series of bludgeoning punches that sent the Filipino crashing to the canvas early in round eight where he lay prostrate on all fours for several minutes before being stretchered out and taken by ambulance to the Stanford Medical Center.

Dr. Ed de la Vega who was part of the three-man team which worked the corner of Prince Albert that included trainer Edmund Villamor and his brother Edito, accompanied Prince Albert to the hospital and informed The Standard Pagara will undergo a CTScan but was alert and conversing with him.

It was obvious that Juarez who displayed the same kind of remarkable comeback when he lost in his bid for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title to Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire in Puerto Rico last December where Donaire banked on two knockdowns in the 4th round to win by a somewhat lopsided decision which didn’t reflect the closeness or the brutality of the championship rounds, was in his elements against Prince Albert, who he claimed in a pre-fight press conference didn’t have the experience and was not in the same class to face him. Juarez regularly pushed Pagara to the ropes and bombarded him with thundering body shots that soon began to sap the energy out of the young Filipino in a fight that was regarded as the ultimate test of whether he was ready for a possible world title shot.

Juarez provided the answer in emphatic fashion as he began to dominate the fight after being stunned by the initial first round knockdown.

In the seventh round Juarez backed Prince Albert against the ropes and unleashed a two-fisted assault that had Pagara in trouble. However, Pagara used his footwork to get back into the center of the ring but Juarez pinned him down again and often connected with solid blows to the head. Pagara was on wobbly legs as he headed to the corner at the bell. Smiling in the corner before the eighth, Pagara rose slowly.




Boxing Scene noted that Pagara’s corner seemed to be helping him get his balance and he sort of stumbled out of the corner without so much as an eye on Juarez. Pagara walked right into a flush four punch combination and was deposited right back in the corner he’d just left. The referee jumped in to halt the action immediately. The official time of the stoppage was :15 seconds of round eight.

Juarez called out Donaire and asked for a rematch which Donaire readily agreed to but said his promoters would have to work it out.

Donaire who was on the ABS-CBN TV panel at the San Mateo Events Center said he thought “more than anything it was the exhaustion” that led to the first KO loss in Pagara’s while there were those who claimed that Prince Albert was too confident and bordered on being cocky.

The end was unexpected as it was sudden and stunned predominantly Filipino crowd which was still celebrating after WBO junior welterweight world No.1 ranked Jason “El Nino” Pagara, the elder brother of Prince Albert scored an explosive 3rd round knockout over Abraham “ The Swift” Alvarez who was sent crashing to the canvas with a thundering body shot followed by a picture-perfect right hook to end the scheduled eight round bout at :55 seconds of round three.

With the win Jason improved to 39-2 with 24 knockouts while the clearly over-matched Alvarez dropped to 21-10-1 with 10 knockouts.


Fists of the Future Final Press Conference


By Byron Spurlock
Photos: Josue Martinez –

The “Fists of the Future” press conference was held Thursday afternoon at the San Mateo Event Center for the fights this Saturday. Unbeaten WBO #2, IBF #4, WBC #10 junior featherweight “Prince” Albert Pagara (26-0, 18 KOs) headlines against former world title challenger Cesar “Corazon” Juarez (17-5, 10 KOs). In the co-feature, WBO #1 junior welterweight Jason “El Niño” Pagara (38-2, 23 KOs) meets Abraham “The Swift” Alvarez (21-9-1, 10 KOs).

“Prince” Albert Pagara

How does it feel to fight here in the United States?

I’m very excited and ready for the fight. The US is the mecca of boxing and I’m ready to give the fans a good showing.

On Juarez’ comments that Pagara isn’t at his level as a fighter.

(Smiling) Juarez says that I’m not at his level. Those results will be determined in the ring. We’ll see come this Saturday night.

What has been your reception since being here to the US and where have you been training?

The reception has been good and we’ve been training here at the “Undisputed Gym” in San Mateo, CA.

What has been some of your preparation for the upcoming fight against Juarez?

We’ve been studying the way Juarez fights and we’ve been watching how he throws his punches and how he takes punches and we’re ready for the fight. We’ve focused a lot on speed and stamina and footwork for this fight. We’re ready for whatever he comes at us with.

What does this fight mean to you as a Filipino and what is next for you?

It would be a deep honor for me to bring home the belt to the Philippines. I plan to leave here with a win. As for who I fight next after Juarez, it doesn’t matter who I fight next.

Cesar Juarez

What is your prediction for the fight this Saturday night?

It’s going to be a battle between us on this Saturday night, I feel that I’ll come out on top. I feel that I lost the last fight against Nonito Donaire because I was going through some personal issues and some hardships in my personal life. I want a rematch because I wasn’t healthy in the last fight. As for now, I’m very focused for this fight. I feel a lot better for this fight and I’m ready.

What do you feel about “Prince” Albert?

I consider Prince a good fighter but he doesn’t have the experience that I do.

What are your thoughts about fighting here in the United States?

It’s a great honor and I came here to win and that’s what is going to happen. In my country, this is an important and big fight that I have come Saturday night.

Edmund Villamor – Pagara Chief Trainer

When asked to comment on the statement that Cesar Juarez said “Prince Albert is not at my level with experience.”

Juarez says that we are not at his level but we are ranked #2 in the world so we will see come Saturday night if we are at Juarez’s level.

Promoter Michael Aldeguer

How excited are you to have a boxing card like this in the US?

We’re very happy to be a part of this and making this happen. This is going to be an exciting night because both fighters have something riding on the line for this fight…this is a make or break fight for Albert and I have a feeling that this is going to be a tough fight…winning a world title is the main goal for “Prince” Albert and he knows it’s going to be tough and you’re going to have to face tough fighters like Juarez.

Jason “El Nino” Pagara

How do you feel about Alvarez’ fighting style being that in the majority of this fights, he either wins by knockout or loses by knockout?

Alvarez’ fighting style is definitely favoring me and come Saturday night in the ring we are expecting a knockout.

Ricardo Baltazar – Juarez Trainer

When asked how ready is Cesar Juarez for his match against “Prince” Albert.

We are more than ready, “Prince” Albert has not faced someone like Juarez before.

Vince Rodriguez

There are plans to already have another ALA Boxing card fight in Carson, CA on September 24th. From there the plan is to fight here in the US more often. We are also hosting more fights in other countries as well such as Dubai. We all know that the US is the mecca of boxing and that is why we’re here to showcase these fighters. Mark my words, the fight card that we’re hosting on September 24th is going to be Philippines against Mexico.

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Pagara-Juarez Redwood City Press Conference


By Byron Spurlock

WBO Intercontinental jr featherweight champion “Prince” Albert Pagara (26-0, 18 KOs) battles Mexican warrior Cesar Juarez (17-5, 13 KOs) on July 9th at the San Mateo Event Center in San Mateo, CA. The “Fists of the Future” press conference kicked off on Wednesday afternoon at the ABS-CBN International Studios in Redwood City. Cesar Juarez was not in attendance.

Albert Pagara: “Cesar Juarez is a strong Mexican fighter who loves to move forward and attack but I’m ready to face him. I will be ready for him. My Plan is to stick to my game plan and not fall into his, which is to have a street fight. I don’t plan to play into what the crowd wants, despite the crowd maybe being largely Hispanic. I know that the Filpino community will be there to represent as well. I’m going to stick to my game plan because I’m here to win.”

[On fighting in the USA] “With fighting here in the US the plan is for me to learn more English. Right now I understand it and I speak a little, but I know I need to fight here more and learn to speak more English.”

[On training with Freddie Roach] “It went very well. We worked on footwork and power. Freddy Roach worked with my brother and I on improving our stamina for preparation of a fight lasting twelve rounds. Not every fight is going to end in a KO. Also what I learned is that training is the key and I don’t have a fear of losing. With proper training, I feel very confident. I’m very confident with the power of my punches and if I hit my target than it better be ready.”

Jason “El Nino” Pagara: “I don’t need to say much, I’m looking for a knockout, that’s it! My specialty punch is the uppercut and he will feel it come July 9th.”

[On if he’s afraid of losing] “I have already tasted defeat before, and I’m not having that feeling again, so there isn’t anything that I’m scared of.”

Ricky Resureccion (ABS-CBN Marketing): “This is a must watch fight for the people of boxing. Pagara is an up and coming Filipino fighter. Everyone saw the fight that Cesar Juarez had against WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and that was a fight of the year nominee. So we know this is going to be a tough fight for ‘Prince’ Albert Pagara.”

Chief trainer Edmund Villamor: [On boxing in the Philippines] “The island is very historic and boxing is one of the activities that people find passion for very quickly. You have to understand that where we are from, which is the south side of the Philippines, the region Manny Pacquiao is from, there is a lot of poverty. Lots of people look to boxing as a way out of poverty, so yes the numbers of young men trying to become fighters is quite a bit, but not all of them make it to fame and glory.”

The undercard lineup:

Hector Valdez vs Vincent Jennings – 125 lbs, 6 rounds
Mauricio Zavaleta vs Darren Mallard Jr – 156 lbs, 6 rounds
Israel Hernandez vs Michael Flores – 112 lbs, 4 rounds
Lennard Davis IV vs David Figueroa – 141 lbs, 4 rounds
Rudy Macedo vs TBA – 147 lbs – 4 rounds

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Nietes stops Garcia in 5 rounds to retain crown

nietes1 Donnie Nietes after his fifth round TKO win. PHOTO BY ROY LUARC

BACOLOD CITY—It was Donnie “Ahas” Nietes at his finest Saturday night, forcing Mexican Raul Garcia to quit on his stool after five rounds and retaining his World Boxing Organization light flyweight crown in the headliner of Pinoy Pride 36 at University of St. La Salle Coliseum here.

Living up to his promise to put up a sterling performance before his provincemates, Nietes proved to be too skillful and powerful for Garcia, who became the Filipino’s 15th Mexican victim, including his twin brother Ramon Garcia Hirales at the same venue in 2011.

Typifying his dominance, Nietes dropped Garcia twice in the third round, first with a left straight to the head followed by another left to the body. Garcia was up in no time only to be sent down anew with a right to the body by the pride of nearby Murcia town.

“I knew I had him from the first round,” said Nietes in Filipino. “I found no need to hurry up as his body is already hurting.

According to Nietes, the fight turned out to be just what he and trainer Edmund Villamor prepared for, finding his range and penetrating the Mexican’s defenses.

The 34-year-old Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world champion at eight years, raised his record to 38-1-4 with 21 knockouts while pulling down Jimenez, the former International Boxing Federation and WBO minimum weight titlist, to 36-4-1, 22 KOs.

Unable to withstand Nietes’ barrage and pinpoint punches, Garcia did not answer the sixth round bell.

“I’m verry, very happy,” said Nietes, who thanked the capacity crowd that included his parents and townmates.


Nietes has advantage vs. Rodriquez – Villamor


By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.-

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines –Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) and Ring magazine junior flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-4-1, 21KOs) of Murcia and Bacolod is well-prepared to take the challenge from Mexican challenger and former unified WBO/International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight world champ Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. (17-2-1,11KO’s) on July 11 for the Pinoy Pride 31: Clash of World Champions at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

This was revealed yesterday by ALA gym’s lead trainer Edmund Villamor adding that the longest reigning Filipino champion has the edge over the Mexican when the bell rings.

“Donnie (Nietes) is more experienced than Rodriguez. He has also an edge in skills, speed and power. And, most importantly has the home court advantage,” Villamor said.

In any sport, home court is always an advantage in which gave an athlete more confidence in fighting before his home crowd. However, this doesn’t apply that much to Nietes as he is also undefeated in all his fights in Mexico – beating down his opponents despite the pressure from the home fans.

But, Villamor reiterated that they won’t be that complacent against Rodriguez as he is a former champion who has an impressive record against Filipino fighters including erstwhile WBO minimumweight champion and Bacolod-hailed Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo.

Murcia town Mayor Andrew Montelibano, earlier, stressed that he also believes that the champion will retain his title.

“With the kind of conditioning and training he is in, I believe Donnie (Nietes) will retain his title. I am in contact with him personally and I can see he is more ready than ever,” Montelibano said.

Also featured in Pinoy Pride 31 is co-main event Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo alongside another promising young prospect Kevin Jake Cataraja.

The undefeated Magsayo (10-0) will face Mexican Rafael Reyes (16-4) for the vacant IBF Youth featherweight title while, Cataraja meets Indonesian Ardi Tefa for a 6-round clash.

This boxing event is presented by ALA Promotions International in partnership with ABS-CBN Sports.(WATCHMEN DAILY JOURNAL)

Photo: World champion and longest reigning Filipino champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes at ALA gym (JAMES TOGA/SCOOP-Bacolod Photo).



CEBU CITY – The adversaries for the 20th edition of the ‘Pinoy Pride’ series had their final round of sabre rattling today during the final press conference held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. Jason “El Niño” Pagara (30-2, 19KO’s) of the ALA Gym, who will defend his WBO International light welterweight title against Mexico’s Aaron “La Hoya” Herrera (25-1, 17 KO’s) said that the Mexican challenger’s style is easy to solve.

“Simpol ra kaayo ni siya pildihon.” Pagara said when asked to comment about Herrera’s fight videos. “I will not promise anything but you will see a knockout.”

Herrera for his part said that he is 200 percent prepared. “I will beat Pagara because this is the first time that he will face a good fighter.”

Trainer Edmund Villamor said that Pagara is in better shape even compared to his condiitoning during the Rosbel Montoya rematch. This will be the second time that Pagara will headline a Pinoy Pride card. They will trade punches this Saturday inside the Pacific Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. 

Jimrex “Executioner” Jaca (37-6-3, 21 KO’s) will go for the vacant WBO Oriental lt.welterweight title and a world ranking when he fights with Mexico’s Jose Emilio Perea (29-2, 20KO’s). 

Jaca, who is known for his gallant loss against Juan Manuel Marquez, said that he is in better shape now and is only a pound over 140.

WBO VP for Asia Pacific Leon Panoncillo emphasized the importance of the International and regional belts and said that many world champions of the World Boxing Organization were once holders of the International title.

Jaca, who is trained by Franklin Albia, looks forward to the opportunity to face Marquez again.

Undefeated Genesis “Azukal” Servania (19-0, 7 KO’s) will face Isaac Junior of Indonesia (20-3-2, 8 KO’s)in a ten round non-title contest.  Servania is in a must situation because he is already penned for a fight in Macau this July.


A special feature in this card will be the pro debut of Jessel Magsayo of the ALA Gym, who will face Melton Sandal of Zamboanga del Norte in a four rounder. Magsayo is a former amateur standout and caught the attention of Philboxing editor Dong Secuya, who together with this writer, watched him spar against Servania.

Magsayo, who hails from Tagbilaran City, was already spotted by this writer three years ago when he represented the BTC Boxing Club and was chosen as the Best Boxer of the Tournament during the amateur finals of the Mayor Jonas Cortes Cup in Mandaue City.

Also set to see action are Ralph Lulu vs Junnie Salogaol (8 rounds), Roland Servania vs Andrew Palas (4 rounds), Elmo Traya vs Jonie Villacrusis (4 rounds), Richard Barrios vs Lauro Balweg (4 rounds) and Kazuma Ejiri of Japan vs Jonas Sultan (4 rounds).

ALA Promotions VP Dennis Cañete thanked the media together with WBO VP Leon Panoncillo and ABS-CBN for their support.The Pinoy Pride series has shot to double digit ratings nationwide. The last Pinoy Pride event in Davao City, which saw Rey Bautista losing to Jose Ramirez of Mexico, registered 30.4 percent in rural Mindanao and a 17 percent national rating.

The official weigh-in for Pinoy Pride XX: Laban kung Laban will be on noontime Friday May 24 at SM Cebu Events Centre.



Reigning WBO International light welterweight champion Jason “El Nino” Pagara knows he faces the fight of his life against cocky but highly-credentialed Mexican warrior Aaron “Jewel” Herrera who has a fearsome record of 17 knockouts in 25 wins with only one loss but said he is not awed by the Mexican’s record.

Pagara told a pre-fight press conference at the Waterfront Hotel that he had studied tapes of Herrera along with trainer Edmund Villamor and they both believe that Herrera’s style doesn’t pose a problem.

The youthful Pagara (30-2, 19 KO’s) told the Cebu media and ABS-CBN which will telecast the fight at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday over the pre-eminent Channel 2 with a 4:00 p.m. replay on Studio 23 that he will not promise anything “but you will see a knockout.”

Ranked No. 4 by the WBO a big win by Pagara would surely put him in line for a world title shot in the future according to WBO Asia Pacific vice president and fight supervisor Leon Panoncillo.

Villamor said Pagara was in probably the best shape of his life, had trained hard and was fully focused knowing the importance of an impressive victory.

But, if Herrera is to believed, it won’t be easy. The Mexican who is regarded as a devastating puncher is coming off back-to-back first round stoppages, scoring a 1st round knockout of experienced Jorge “Tigre” Pimentel and putting him away with vicious hook to the liver last July 21 after scoring a 1st round TKO over Zaid “The Terminator” Zavaleta on April 21, 2012.

Herrera said he had seen some of Pagara’s fights but was not impressed. He said he is two hundred percent ready is confident of winning since “this is the first time that he (Pagara) will face a good fighter.”

Exciting bell-to-bell slugger Jimrex “Executioner” Jaca (37-6-3, 21 KO’s) who some years ago gave Juan Manuel Marquez all he could handle before he got careless and was nailed with a cracking combination by the bloodied Mexican legend who won by a 9th round knockout is eager to move into the spotlight once again by winning the vacant WBO Oriental light welterweight title when clashes with another tough Mexican Jose Emilio Perea (29-2, 20KO’s).

Promising, undefeated super bantamweight Genesis “Azukal” Servania (19-0, 7 KO’s) who has impressed Top Rank’s matchmakers will clash with Isack Junior of Indonesia (20-3-2, 8 KO’s)in a ten round non-title contest.

Servania faces a must situation because Top Rank has already lined him up for a fight on the undercard of the WBC/WBA flyweight title fight between mandatory challenger Milan Melindo and Juan Francisco Estrada on July 27 in Macau.