Boxing: Albert Pagara back to form, sets sights on world champion Dogboe

Santino Honasan on Jun 10, 2018 08:20 AM
Pagara back to form, sets sights on world champion Dogboe
“Si Dogboe, gusto ko kalabanin, kaya focused ako ngayon sa training, focused talaga sa training, ngayon na nakamit ko na yung belt.”

Fighting in his hometown of Maasin, Southern Leyte, ALA Boxing standout ‘Prince’ Albert Pagara took one forward on his redemption tour as he demolished Laryea Gabriel Odoi to the point that the Ghanaian’s cornermen were forced to throw in the towel in the third round of their main event bout at Pinoy Pride 44: Laban sa Leyte, Saturday evening.

With the win, Pagara reclaimed the WBO Intercontinental Super Bantamweight Championship, the very same title that he lost to Cesar Juarez back in 2016.

The loss to Juarez remains as the only notch in Pagara’s loss column.

Since then, the 24-year old Pagara has racked up four straight victories, three straight have come by KO or TKO, including Saturday’s win over Odoi.

After destroying Odoi, Pagara an emotional Pagara fought back tears as he basked in the cheers of his kababayans.

For Pagara, reclaiming the belt that he lost nothing short of euphoric.

“Sobrang happy ako na nabalik ko yung belt ko, naging champion ulit ako ngayon.” Pagara told ABS-CBN Sports.

Looking more like the ‘Prince’ Albert of old that won his first 26 bouts, Pagara says that now more relaxed and has found the optimal walking weight so that once fight time comes, he’s lighter and more agile.

“Yung katawan ko, parang magaan, hindi tulad nung dating mga laban ko na parang hindi ako makasuntok at gigil ako. Ngayon, yung timbang ko, paglalaban ako, 132 pounds, ten pounds lang yung over ko para magaan yung katawan ko, para confident ako pag 132-pounds, kasi lalaban ako dati, 138 o 139, mabigat yung katawan ko, ngayon, grabe, parang ang-liksi.”

After having already reclaimed the WBO Intercontinental title, would a rematch against Juarez be the next step towards complete redemption for Pagara?

Not necessarily.

For Pagara, another go-around with Juarez isn’t too appealing anymore.

“Ayaw ko na hamunin si Juarez kasi na-knockout na siya ni [Isaac] Dogboe, gusto ko sa level na yung kakalabanin ko. Parang wala na siya. Gusto ko pa-taas na.”

“Kung gusto ng ALA Promotion na rematch kay Juarez, sige okay lang sa akin kung mag-rematch kami.” Pagara added.

Speaking of Isaac Dogboe, Pagara has his sights set on the current reigning WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion.

The unbeaten Ghanaian knocked out Juarez to become the interim champ, and then knocked out Jessie Magdaleno just three months later to snatch the world title.

Quite the target for Pagara, but he says the prospect of a bout against Dogboe is keeping him motivated.

“Si Dogboe, gusto ko kalabanin, kaya focused ako ngayon sa training, focused talaga sa training, ngayon na nakamit ko na yung belt.”

With teammates like Donnie Nietes, Milan Melindo, Jonas Sultan, and Arthur Villanueva all having held or challenged for world titles, Pagara says that he’s working even harder so that one day, he too can reach the level that they have.

“Gusto ko maabot yung pangarap ko na maging world champion kagaya nila, kaya pursige lang talaga, disiplina sa sarili.”

“Masasabi ko na nakabalik na si Albert, kasi yung style ko dati, binabalik ko na yung mga galaw ko, yung pag-laban ko dati.” Pagara added.

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