MANILA – Siblings Jason Pagara and “Prince” Albert Pagara scored contrasting victories over their Mexican opponents in "Pinoy Pride XXVI: Fists of the Future" in front of spectators at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.
Jason, the elder of the brothers, figured in a slugfest with Mexican brawler Mario “Rocky” Meraz before nabbing a controversial 4th-round stoppage to retain his WBO international light welterweight crown.
Prince Albert, on the other hand, knocked down Hugo “Olimpico” Partida of Mexico twice in the first round to claim his first title, the vacant IBF international light featherweight belt.
The younger Pagara made quick work of Partida, decking the overmatched Mexican with a right straight-left hook combination in the early minutes of the first round.
Partida was later given a standing 8 count by referee Bruce McTavish after being wobbled by another right hand from Albert. Sensing that the end was near, the “Prince” fired another left hook at Partida’s face and sent the Mexican to the canvass for the last time.
The fight ended 1:18 minutes in the first round.
Jason, meanwhile, worked a bit harder against the sturdy Meraz, who managed to remain standing in the first 3 rounds despite being repeatedly tagged with several upper cuts to the chin.
Meraz’s knees buckled in the third when he got hit with a right straight to the face. He returned the favor in the fourth round when he got the Filipino walking straight to his right cross, momentarily putting Jason into trouble.
Jason rallied with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth when he trapped Meraz at the ropes and unleashed rapid fire punches to the head that sent the Mexican stumbling to the ground.
Meraz managed to beat the count and looked ready to fight again, but referee Rex Tapdasan had seen enough and officially halted the bout at 2:59 minutes in the 4th round.
Pinoy Pride XXVI: Fists of the Future will be telecast on Sunday, on ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23 starting at 7 p.m.