Pagara, Magsayo batter overmatched opponents to remain undefeated
CEBU CITY, Philippines - It wasn’t pretty but Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo overcame frustrating opponents to remain undefeated at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino on Saturday, February 27.
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 magazine at 122 pounds, scored a knockdown in round 7 with a right hand below the heart but spent much of the time afterwards 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 ten-round featherweight fight by the scores 100-89, 97-92 and 99-90.
Montoya was dropped in round seven after a flurry of blows to the body was punctuated by an uppercut - followed by another one on his way to the canvas. Magsayo was unable to finish however, and his propensity to get overexcited and wing looping overhand rights gave Montoya the escape route he was looking for.
The fight was a tuneup for the first step-up fight for the 20-year-old when he faces former title challenger Chris Avalos on the undercard of Nonito Donaire Jr’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 earn big wins over veterans
Melvin Jerusalem was too quick and elusive for an aging Florante Condes, picking up his biggest win to date by majority decision in an 8-round minimumweight 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 minimumweight 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.
In the night's most entertaining bout, 19-year-old Jeo Santisima (9-2, 8 KOs) of Masbate City, Philippines was down in round two 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 8-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 5 of his last 8 bouts.
In another 8-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 4-time national amateur champion. – Rappler.com