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Albert Pagara to get acid-test fight vs. Cesar Juarez

16
May
Photo by Ryan Songalia

Photo by Ryan Songalia

MANILA, Philippines — Unbeaten Filipino junior featherweight Albert Pagara will get a chance to jump to legitimate title contention when he faces rugged contender Cesar Juarez on July 9 at the San Mateo Event Center in San Francisco, California.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer, who is currently in the United States, confirmed to numerous outlets that the fight had been agreed upon with Juarez’s promoter, Zanfer Promotions. An email seeking comment from Zanfer was not immediately returned.

Pagara (26-0, 18 knockouts), of Cagayan de Oro City, last fought in the United States in October 2015, knocking out William Gonzalez in the maiden U.S. event of ALA Promotions. One of the more impressive Filipino prospects today, the 22-year-old was due for a step-up bout against former junior bantamweight titleholder Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. before the fight fell through. Instead, Pagara, who is ranked No. 7 at 122 pounds by THE RING, fought Yesner Talavera, shutting out the frustrating opponent to a 12-round decision win.

Juarez (17-5, 13 KOs), of Mexico City, will likely test Pagara’s heart like never before. The 24-year-old rose out of anonymity to beat Sanchez last July, then pushed Nonito Donaire to his physical limitations, coming off the canvas twice in Round 4 before losing a punishing decision for the vacant WBO junior featherweight title in December 2015.

“I have been asking for this fight for so long. This should be a great fight because he is a warrior — he even gave Nonito Donaire a hard fight,” Pagara told the Cebu Sun-Star.

The Donaire fight may have had lingering effects on Juarez, as he lost a split-decision in his most recent fight this past March to the unheralded Giovanni Delgado. Still, Aldeguer expects the fight to answer questions about his fighter.

“This will be a make-or-break fight for Albert,” Aldeguer told the Sun-Star.

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