MANILA, Philippines - If plans push through, the Pagara brothers, Jason and Albert, may find themselves in the undercard of the projected Donnie Nietes fight in the United States in November.
The Pagaras, both young and skillful, are being groomed by ALA Promotions as probably the future of Philippine boxing, and things are looking positive.
Last Saturday evening, before an enthusiastic crowd at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, the Pagaras, from Cagayan de Oro, knocked out their respective foes from Mexico.
Jason, 22 years old and the reigning WBO International light-welterweight champion, defeated Mario Meraz via technical knockout in the 2:59 mark of the fourth round.
Albert, 20 years old and the new IBF Inter-Continental junior-featherweight titlist, looked fast and furious in stopping Hugo Partida at the 1:18 mark of the opening round.
Jason is now 34-2-0 with 21 knockouts while Albert is perfect at 21-0 with 15 knockouts.
The Pagaras have never gone outside the Philippines to fight, and for their chief benefactor, Michael Aldeguer, this could be the time to do it.
“First, we wanted to see what Jason is made of or if he’s really ready for the big fights now. He’s at 140 pound and it’s the toughest division out there,” said the president of ALA Promotions.
“But I think Jason made a good account of himself. He could have knocked out Meraz but the referee stopped the fight. That was a brutal fight,” he added.
Days before the fight, Jason told scribes he wants to pursue his career by campaigning in the US, and said he dreams of facing fighters like Brandon Rios.
“He really has to campaign in the US, train there, spar there. Hopefully, we can get Brandon Rios. The test he needs is to fight the big fights and the big names in the US,” added Aldeguer.
On Albert, the more flamboyant of the two, Aldeguer said a little more patience is needed, but he’s also considering US training for the young boxer.
“Albert is a young kid. He’s one guy we’ve always wanted to develop. It’s a start-up but he has a long way to go,” added the promoter.
Albert said he likes to face opponents like Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Aldeguer is looking at Nietes defending his WBO light-flyweight crown in Los Angeles on Nov. 8 against an opponent they have yet to choose.
The Pagaras can train with Nietes in San Diego and be in that card, according to Aldeguer.
“Yes, we’re looking at that,” he said.