“PRINCE” Albert Pagara’s dream of a world title crack turned into a nightmare in San Mateo, California, Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Pitted against tested Mexican banger Cesar Juarez, Pagara botched his first major trial, losing by eighth round knockout and yielding his World Boxing Organization Intercontinental super bantamweight crown in the headliner of Pinoy Pride 37: Fists of the Future at San Mateo Event Center.
The defeat snapped the 22-year-old Pagara’s string of 26 victories and effecively set back by years his aspirations of becoming king of the 122-pound division.
A groggy Pagara vainly tried to get up, but fell back to his knees and got counted out.
Though conscious, Pagara was later carried out of the ring on a stretcher.
As mandatory procedure, Pagara was taken to a local hospital, where he was subjected to and passed vital tests, according to Dr. Ed de la Vega of Philboxing as relayed to Dyan Castillejo.
In high spirits, the 24-year-old Juarez, on the other hand, called out “The Filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire Jr. for a grudge title rematch.
Juarez, now 18-5 with 14 knockouts, gave Donaire a tough fight, particularly in the second half, before dropping a unanimous decision last December.
ALA Promotions CEO and president Michael Aldeguer had promised Pagara a world title crack if he beats Juarez convincingly.
Earlier, Jason Pagara stopped Mexican Abraham Alvarez in the third round in the chief support of the fight card jointly undertaken by ALA Promotions International and ABS-CBN Sports.
Jason, Albert’s elder brother, improved to 39-2 with 24 knockouts. Alvarez fell to 21-10-1, all the losses coming by way of knockout.