Albert Pagara to face ex-115-pound champ Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr.
Filipino junior bantamweight prospect Albert Pagara will face his first serious test as a professional when he faces former IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. on Feb. 27 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines.
The 12-round junior featherweight battle of southpaws will headline ALA Promotions’ “Stars of the Future” card, which will also feature unbeaten young fighters Mark Magsayo and KJ Cataraja, ALA president Michael Aldeguer confirmed to RingTV.com.
Pagara (25-0, 18 knockouts) of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines is already rated in the Top 5 of the WBO and IBF rankings and is rated No. 7 by the WBC. Pagara, 21, is also rated No. 6 by THE RING at 122 pounds.
Pagara’s biggest win came in 2014 when he shut out durable Mexican Raul Hirales, which he followed up by stopping his next three opponents.
The 24-year-old Sanchez has fought much stiffer competition in his seven-year career, having spoiled the unbeaten record of Juan Francisco Estrada before being stopped in 10 rounds in the rematch in 2011.
Sanchez (20-4-1, 9 KOs) won the IBF 115-pound title in 2012 with a decision over Rodrigo Guerrero in the latter’s hometown of Los Mochis, Mexico, making two defenses of the title before being stripped in 2013 for missing weight prior to his fight against Roberto Domingo Sosa.
Recent times have been tough on Sanchez, as he was knocked out by a left cross from Zolani Tete in 2013, and sat on the sidelines for 15 months afterward. In his last fight, he was out-hustled in July by Cesar Juarez, who ended up giving Nonito Donaire Jr. the fight of his life in an unsuccessful attempt to win the vacant WBO junior featherweight title.