Albert Pagara, Mark Magsayo score lopsided wins in Philippines
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Win today, look good tomorrow.
That’s what Filipino boxing prospects Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo were probably thinking when faced with opponents whose will to win faded quickly after the bell rang for their fights at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City on Saturday night.
In the end, both remained undefeated with lopsided decisions, but the lack of action in the two final fights of the Pinoy Pride 35 event made for an anticlimactic end to the night.
In the main event, Pagara outpointed Nicaragua’s Yesner Talavera over 12 rounds by the scores of 120-107 on two cards and 119-108 on the third. Pagara, who is rated No. 7 by THE RING at 122 pounds, scored a knockdown in Round 7 with a right hand below the heart but spent much of the time afterward daring his opponent to engage.
Talavera, who was trained by former strawweight and junior flyweight titleholder Rosendo Alvarez, was in survival mode for much of the night, drawing boos from the fans.
“I just fought my fight. I didn’t let him get to me,” said Pagara (26-0, 18 knockouts). The light-hitting Talavera drops to 15-4-1 (4 KOs) as a pro.
In the co-main event, Magsayo (13-0, 10 KOs) pounded out a unanimous points victory over Eduardo Montoya (17-5-1, 13 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight fight by the scores 100-89, 97-92 and 99-90.
Montoya, like Talavera, seemed most interested in hearing the final bell but had to take a lot of leather to do so. He was dropped in Round 7 after a flurry of blows to the body was punctuated by an uppercut – followed by another one on his way to the canvas. The fight was a tuneup for the 20-year-old Magsayo’s first step-up fight when he faces former title challenger Chris Avalos on the undercard of Nonito Donaire’s WBO junior featherweight title defense against Zsolt Bedak on April 23 in Cebu.
“I feel good even though my opponent is no good. He’s always running,” said Magsayo. “He was scared.
“I’m ready to fight him,” Magsayo added about the Avalos fight. “I have a belt now and I’m proud of myself.”
Santisima, Jerusalem pass veteran tests
Melvin Jerusalem was too quick and elusive for an aging Florante Condes, picking up his biggest win to date by majority decision in an eight-round strawweight fight. The tallies were 78-74 on two cards for the 22-year-old from Bukidnon, while a third card read 76-76 even.
Jerusalem (9-0, 7 KOs) used his jab to set up combinations which kept the 35-year-old Condes, a former IBF titleholder, off balance and swinging at air. One particular incident saw Condes launch a sweeping hook that hit nothing but air, resulting in him landing on all fours and Jerusalem riding on top of him like a rodeo.
It was that kind of night for Condes, who hadn’t fought since losing a decision to Ryoichi Taguchi in July 2014.
You can call Jeo Santisima the comeback kid. The 19-year-old Santisima (9-2, 8 KOs) of Masbate City, Philippines, was down in Round 2 after a heavy uppercut from Marco Demecillo (21-5-1, 16 KOs) before a well-placed left hook to the body compelled Demecillo to turn his back and quit at 1:07 of Round 6 of their eight-round featherweight fight.
Santisima was competitive throughout the bout but found himself in trouble whenever Demecillo’s relentless pressure pushed him to the ropes. The Iligan City, Philippines, native Demecillo has now lost five of his last eight bouts.
In another eight-round bout, flyweight prospect Kevin Jake Cataraja got some much-needed rounds against durable Mexican Tony Rodriguez (3-2, 1 KO), pounding out a unanimous decision. The scores were 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74.
Cataraja, 20, of Cebu City, looked to be headed for a first-round KO when Rodriguez was rocked in the first 30 seconds and turned his back. The fight continued, however, and Rodriguez showed he could absorb many of the flush punches of Cataraja.
Cataraja (3-0, 2 KOs) is a veteran of over 200 amateur fights and a four-time national amateur champion.