CEBU CITY, Philippines – Michael Aldeguer was none too pleased with the performance of Jason Pagara this past Saturday, September 16.
Pagara (40-2-1, 25 knockouts) looked nothing like a fighter worthy of the number one ranking he had previously held with the World Boxing Organization at 140 pounds as he was battered about by an unknown Kenyan who accepted the fight on just two weeks’ notice.
The result was a split-draw but the crowd at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City had already decided their winner, booing the decision and cheering James Onyango (23-11-2, 19 KOs) after the 10-round welterweight fight, chanting “Kenya! Kenya!” as if the fight had taken place in Nairobi.
“Below par. Way, way below par,” said Aldeguer, ALA Promotions president, his voice switching from the exuberance of his praise for Milan Melindo and Jonas Sultan to disappointment.
Aldeguer said Pagara had “personal problems” which kept him out of the ring for 9 months, and added the boxer wasn’t in shape when he reported for camp.
“He was supposed to fight last July 8. We couldn’t put him there because he wasn’t in shape. Now it affected his rankings because he was inactive for 9 months,” said Aldeguer, referring to Pagara’s drop from the number 1 ranking to the number 3 spot, which would probably keep him out of consideration for a vacant title shot should Terence Crawford vacate and move to 147 pounds.
Pagara had a good start to the fight, knocking Onyango down in the second and fifth rounds but couldn’t finish him off. And as his stamina abandoned him, Pagara was cut and beaten, and survived by running from his slow but relentless foe.
Aldeguer said the 25-year-old Pagara had offers to fight in Japan, and interest from promotional outfit Top Rank to bring him to the US. Now he wants to sit Pagara down and gauge how serious he is about his career.
“The most important thing is his health,” Aldeguer said.
“If he’s going to be fighting the world top rated ones, it’s going to be a disaster for him. We’ve gotta sit down and see what he wants. This is something that is very serious for him. Is he gonna stay focused or not? If not then we can’t give him a fight.” – Rappler.com
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