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.