The next major card from ALA Promotions was announced earlier today, and is set to be a triple header, with the top 3 bouts all being affiliated with the WBO, albeit for a trio of their minor titles.
One of the title bouts will see the once touted Albert Pagara (30-1, 21) defending his WBO Inter-Continental Super Bantamweight title against Ghana's George Krampah (14-3, 12). This really should be a straight forward win for Pagara, given the that visitor has been relative inactive in recent years and was stopped in 2 of his last 3, including stoppage losses to Thabo Sonjica and current world champion Isaac Dogboe. Sadly though it doesn't seem like the step forward that the Filipino deserves given his talent and the promise he has.
A much better looking match up will see KJ Cataraja (8-0, 7) take on Victor Hugo Reyes (9-1-1, 7) in a mouth watering match up for the WBO Youth Super Flyweight title. The unbeaten Cataraja is very highly regarded in Asian boxing circles and he has been tipped for major success since turning professional. Despite being highly regarded he hasn't been matched particularly hard, with this being a notable step up in class. Reyes has been matched relatively easily but has been impressive on the Mexican domestic scene, with a good win last time out against Julio Castillo. This really could be the stand out show on the card.
The third title bout will see the hard hitting Jeo Santisima (16-2, 14) take on Mexican Victor Uriel Lopez (13-6-1, 6) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. The 22 year old Santisima has been one of the most explosive Filipino prospects in recent years and will be favoured here, especially given he is riding a 14 fight winning run. The visitor however is no push over and in 2016 he scored a major upset over Ryo Matsumoto.
Others on the card include Jonas Sultan (14-4, 9) and Ardin Diale (34-12-4, 16), who will be facing against each other, and Arthur Villanueva (32-3, 18), though his opponent hasn't yet been announced.
ALA Boxing Gym, the premier promotional outfit in the Philippines, have revealed that their next card in the "Pinoy Pride" line of shows, "Pinoy Pride 44", will take place on June 9th in Maasin City, and although it's not set to feature any world class bouts it does look like a stacked card with name value running through it, and should be a card that generates a fair bit of attention from those involved in it.
The main event is set to feature the popular Albert Pagara (29-1, 20) taking on Ghana's Laryea Gabriel Odoi (20-3-2, 14), who is best known for losing in a Commonwealth title fight to Martin Ward in 2013. Pagara, originally from Maasin City, will be the overwhelming favourite in the eyes of the fans, but Odoi has never been stopped, and has lost only once in his last 23 fights, having rebuilt following a 0-2 start to his professional career. Athlough Odoi is a tough, then again aren't all fighters teak tough, he has only fought once in the last year, and has only fought 4 times in the last 4 years. For Pagara this is a chance to record his 4th straight win following his 2016 loss to Cesar Juarez
Albert will be joined by older brother Jason Pagara (40-3-1, 25), who takes on Indonesian Geisler AP (12-10-1, 9). It's fair to say that 2017 was a year to forget for the once touted Pagara, who went 0-1-1 for the year. In December he suffered a TKO loss to Hiroki Okada and in both of his 2017 bouts he looked like a fighter who really lacked the commitment and fitness to be fighting. Even an off the boil Pagara should have far too much for the visiting fighter here, with the Indonesian fighter having been stopped in every one of his bouts outside of Indonesia.
Former world title challenger Arthur Villanueva (31-3, 17) will be returning to the ring for the first time since his stoppage loss to Luis Nery as he takes on domestic journeyman Renren Tesorio (16-12-3, 4), in what should be an easy comeback fight for the 29 year old.
In another of the feature bouts the exciting Jeo Santisima (15-2, 13) will battle against Thai visitor Yodsingdaeng Jor Chaijinda (16-5, 10) in a bout for the WBO Oriental Super Bantamweight title. The Thai visitor is 0-5 outside of Thailand is is likely to extend that losing run here against the hard hitting Santisima, who has looked like a real prospect in recent bouts, and will be looking to move into the WBO rankings with another win here. The Thai was riding a 10 fight winning run until recently, with that run ending this past February when he was out pointed by Juan Miguel Elorde, and we suspect he'll now suffer a second successive loss.
Others pencilled in for this card including former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (12-2, 7), unbeaten puncher Jeno Macapobre (3-0, 2) and Japanese fighter Go Hosaka (0-0)
Earlier today Filipino fight fans got the chance to see a number of prospects in action as part of a PPV card put on by leading Filipino promotional outfit ALA Promotions. The show featured a number of top prospects and although the televised audience would have disappointing the fighters did, for the most part, deliver.
The main event saw the touted Mark Magsayo (17-0, 13) retain his WBO International Featherweight title, as he blitzed former world title challenger Daniel Diaz (23-8-2, 15) inside a round. Diaz was down 3 times in 105 seconds as Magsayo recorded his second straight opening round stoppage. Although Diaz had been proposed as a tough test having only been stopped twice in his career, in 11 rounds by Koki Kameda and 4 rounds by Andres Gutierrez, Magsayo made it look easy. The problem now for ALA is what they do with Magsayo, as they cannot keep him on a leash for much longer, and they will need to let him face fellow contenders in the near future.
Another opening round win was scored by Jeo Santisima (14-2, 12), who blew away the previously unbeaten Goodluck Mrema (16-1, 8). On paper this looked like a good test for Santisima but he was was too good, too heavy handed and too powerful for the visitor from Tanzania.
Another stoppage win on this card was scored by Albert Pagara (28-1, 19), who beat Patomsith Pathompothong (16-10, 6) [ปฐมสิทธิ์ เกษตรพัฒนา] in 4 rounds. The Thai put in a weird performance here where he seemed to spend more time show boating and playing to the crowd than actually fighting. The stoppage was an odd one too with the Thai being taged by two solid shots but he seemed to send himself to the canvas and take the count in what will go down as a very odd performance, and a third straight stoppage loss for the Thai, who is now 1-6 in his last 7. As for Pagara this was his second win since being stopped by Cesar Juarez a year ago.
The wins for Magsayo, Santisima and Pagara were all expected, though there was an upset as former world title challenger Melvin Jerusalem (11-2, 7) came up short against Joey Canoy (13-3-1, 6). Jerusalem gave Wanheng Menayothin a real run for his money in previous fight and was expected to bounce back with a win here but a knockdown against him in round 7 and point deduction in round 8 denied him a draw, with the judges scoring the contest 95-93, twice, and 96-92 to Canoy. The loss is a major set back for Jerusalem who looked like a world champion in the making and will now see Canoy's career take a huge boost.
Earlier today Filipino fight fans at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug got the chance to see Pinoy Pride 40:Domination, the latest in the ALA series of Pinoy Pride shows.
The main event of the card saw Donnie Nietes (40-1-4, 22) takes a well earned, but hard foughht, decision win over Thailand's Eaktawan BTU Ruaviking (22-4, 15) to claim the IBF Flyweight and become the third Filipino to become a 3 weight world champion. The Filipino fighter did struggle at times, particularly in the middle of the fight, but clearly won using his speed and skills to keep Eaktawan at bay, and make the Thai miss wildly.
Nietes wasn't the only notable Filipino picking up a win on this card however with several others picking up wins.
One of those was Mark Magsayo (16-0, 12), who destroyed the horribly over-matched Issa Nampepeche (24-8-2, 11) inside a round. Magsayo had stated that he expected the bout to be easy and that proved to be the case with the visitor being dropped twice in what served as a relatively pointless contest. Magsayo's team stated that they were wanting to give him development time before pushign on with him, but this bout really didn't help him develop with Nampepeche not being a suitable opponent at all. Despite Magsayo dealing with him easily it should be noted that the vistor had never been stopped so quickly.
Another was the heavy handed Jeo Santisima (13-2, 11), who dominated Indonesian foe Master Suro (11-9-1, 2) in a frustrating affair. Suro, a born survivor, was down in round 6 but failed to go away and took Santisima beyond 6 rounds for the first time, though did lose very widely on the scorecards after 10 rounds.
In a really fun bout teenager Virgel Vitor (10-1, 6) had a 10 round battle with the under-rated Michael Escobia (11-15-1, 3), in a real back and forth war. The teenager did enough to earn the win, but really had to fight for it, and will have learned a lot from the contest.
We've known for a while that Thailand's Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (31-4-1, 16) [ศักดิ์กรีรินทร์] would be travelling to Cebu City to face Filipino Milan Melindo (34-2, 12) in a bout for the IBF "interim" Light Flyweight title on November 26th. Now we know a fair bit more about the card with the announcement of several under-card fighters.
Among those fighters are the Pagara brothers, Albert Pagara (26-1, 18), returning from his July loss to Cesar Juarez, and his older brother Jason Pagara (39-2, 24), as well as the highly touted Kevin Jake Cataraja (4-0, 3), former OPBF title challenger Jimmy Paypa (18-3-1, 6) and the heavy handed Jeo Santisima (11-2, 10).
The card, dubbed "Pinoy Pride 39" is the next in the long standing ALA series and if good opponents can be brought in for the undercard fighters then the show could be good. It's clear that Albert Pagara will be matched easier than he was last time, when he suffered his first career loss, but the other fighters could all be in interesting tests, with Jason Pagara needing a bout of note after facing limited opponents in recent years, Paypa looking to build on a career best win, Santisima looking to continue a 9 fight T/KO run and Cataraja looking to build on his exciting reputation.
Hopefully opponents will be named by the end of October at the latest.
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