In an event five years in the making, ALA Productions, together with ABS-CBN Sports, have finally stepped foot in the United States of America.
It was a surreal moment for Filipino boxing in general as the pure Filipino promotion produced a show in America that showcased what Filipino boxing was all about. In front of a solid crowd at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California, and with Jimmy Lennon Jr. doing ring announcing duties, Pinoy Pride 33: The Philippines vs. The World was a night to remember.
The first Asian boxing promotion licensed to produce fight cards in the States showcased its top boxers for the world to see. All four passed with flying colors Sunday morning.
Nietes retains World Championship, dominates Alejo
Fighting for the first time in America, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes showed uncanny composure and utter dominance in his WBO World Light Flyweight Championship title defense against Mexican Juan “Pinky” Alejo.
Alejo, who was riding a 21 fight win streak prior to this fight, was confident going into the fight in vowing to dethrone the longest reigning Filipino world champion. It was not meant to be, however, as “Ahas” was a class above his opponent as he dominated his Mexican opponent in almost the entirety of the fight.
The Negros Occidental-native right from the opening bell was consistent in displaying advanced ring generalship in stalking his opponent all throughout. Nietes picked his spots in landing perfectly times jabs to keep distance and strike with combinations when his opponent’s guard was down.
Nietes picked apart his opponent in the first five rounds as he bloodied “Pinky” with solid connections. In the second round, Alejo was cut under his right eye coming from a jab while in the fourth round received a cut on the corner of his left eye due to a glancing straight.
However, during the sixth round, Alejo was able to find his footing as he traded shots with the WBO Champion in the sixth round. In the only shining moment for the Mexican, he was able to land a clean shot resulting to a gash to Nietes’ left eye.
After the round, Nietes picked apart his opponent in a masterful performance as the match went to the full 12. All three judges called the match in favor of the Filipino with scores of Lou Moret: 120-108, Pat Russell: 119-109, and Marshall Walker 119-109.
In the post-fight presser and with rambles for him to go up in weight, “Ahas” expressed his desire to go up to Flyweight and challenge Roman “Chocalotito” Gonzalez for the WBC World Flyweight crown. “Panalo rin ako ngayon. Gusto ko yan, that’s a good fight,” he said.
With the win, the 33-year old Filipino world champion’s record goes up to 37-1-4.
“Prince” Pagara extends streak to 25
With the vacant WBO Intercontinental Junior Featherweight title on the line, 21 year old “Prince” Albert Pagara showed veteran instincts beyond his years in his decimation of 24 year old Nicaraguan William Gonzalez (27-6).
To start-off the fight, the young Pagara, known for his aggressive style, played it safe as he was on the defensive for almost the entirety of the first two rounds. He kept distance by utilizing jabs and clinches to stymie his opponent.
The action went to a full blown blast in the third round as instincts set in for “Prince”. The younger Pagara, though, was warned in the fourth round for throwing a huge right on the Nicaraguan when he was down on one knee. As the action pressed on, Pagara outclassed his opponent up until the finishing blow in the sixth round. A glancing left was followed by a huge haymaker that knocked Gonzalez out of his senses. The Nicaraguan tried to continue to fight but could not make the ten count resulting Albert Pagara’s 25th win in as many fights.
Upstart Magsayo magnificent!
In a battle of unbeatens, 20 year old Leyte-native Mark Magsayo needed just a little over two minutes to dispose of Mexican Yardley Suarez (13-1) in a IBF Youth Featherweight title defense.
Magsayo dropped Suarez twice in the first round. The latter resulting to the stoppage as Magsayo’s punished the young Mexican’s body with huge blows.
With the win, Magsayo stays unbeaten in 12 bouts with ten coming from finishes.
Jason Pagara decimates Benavides
Jason Pagara made a statement in proving that he should be the next contender for the WBO Lightweight Championship. The elder Pagara made minced meat out of Nicaraguan Santos Benavides’ body (25-8-2) before finishing his opponent in the second round.
Pagara was elusive in the first round as he weaved in and out of his opponent’s range while landing light combinations to bother his opponents vision. Irritated, the Nicaraguan tried to be more assertive in the second round but was caught with a huge overhand right that knocked him down. The 27 year old Filipino then focused on the body of his opponent as he landed a huge right near the liver of Benavides. The pain of the shot crumbled the Nicaraguan down to the mat but was able to get back up. Sensing blood, a well-timed combination landed on the chin of the Nicaraguan as referee Raul Caiz waved the match off.
With the win, Jason Pagara leaves Carson City with a 37-2 slate.
Super flyweight Escalante takes win to open card
To open the card, Bruno Escalante Jr. (14-1-1) took home a unanimous decision victory over Mexican Nestor Ramos (6-3-1).
Even if the Filipino was three inches shorter than Ramos, Escalante utilized his speed to offset the size of his Mexican opponent. Escalante was able to close in on his opponent all throughout the six rounds of the match as Ramos could not keep distance from his opponent.
After landing clean shots and combinations in 18 minutes of ring time, the 26 year old Filipino took home a lopsided unanimous decision victory (Abe Belardo: 60-54, Carla Caiz: 59-55, Ralph McKnight: 59-55)
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