Thursday, June 08, 2023  |



Albert Pagara gets new opponent following Sanchez withdrawal

Fighters Network

MANILA, Philippines – Albert Pagara was supposed to face former IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. on Feb. 27, but his make or break test will have to wait.

The 21-year-old Filipino junior featherweight will now face Yesner Talavera (15-3-1, 4 knockouts) in the 12-round main event of ALA Promotions’ “Stars of the Future” card at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines.

Pagara’s promoter, Michael Aldeguer, lamented the change, claiming Sanchez had contractual issues with a manager that prevented the fight.

The 21-year-old Talavera has not been stopped in any of his three defeats but has yet to fight outside of his native Nicaragua. It’s a significant step down in competition for Pagara (25-0, 18 KOs), who is rated No. 6 by THE RING at 122 pounds.

“We wanted Sanchez badly,” said Aldeguer. “The most important thing for him is that we’re looking at the bigger fights for him.”

An easy win could see Pagara make a quick turnaround for a spot on the undercard of Nonito Donaire’s WBO junior featherweight title defense scheduled for April 23 at Amanita Coliseum, or a headlining spot atop ALA Promotions’ July date at StubHub Center in Carson, California, Aldeguer says.

The co-featured bout on Feb. 27 will match Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo (12-0, 10 KOs) against Mexico’s Eduardo Montoya (17-4-1, 13 KOs). Magsayo, 20, of Tagbilaran City, has knocked out his last six opponents, including a stoppage of 13-1 fighter Yardley Suarez in his U.S. debut in October at StubHub Center.

The toughest assignments may be reserved for fighters on the undercard.

Melvin Jerusalem (8-0, 7 KOs), a 21-year-old strawweight from Manolo Fortich, Philippines, will face former IBF 105-pound titleholder and compatriot Florante Condes (27-9-1, 23 KOs), of Looc.

Condes, 35, won the title in 2007 with a split decision over Muhammad Rachman but was inactive and lost the title a year later. Condes hasn’t fought since July 2014 and has lost four of his last six.

Also on the card will be Jeo Santisima (8-2, 7 KOs) of Masbate City, Philippines, facing Marco Demecillo (21-4-1, 16 KOs) of Iligan City, Philippines.