Stars of the future lack sting and spirit
The big bout of the evening in Cebu City on Saturday was capped with a howling protest from the gleaming winner of the main event.
“Prince” Albert Pagara of the respected ALA Stable called his overmatched opponent from Nicaragua an escape artist, scared running dog, a marathon competitor who did not want to mix it up inside the boxing ring.
Pagara could be right in all three counts.
But there was one other thing that surfaced in Pinoy Pride 35 at Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
The main fighters of the sensational “Stars of the Future” promotion failed to live up to their billing also due to their own fault.
* * *
There was silent disappointment, and not a few hometown spectators were seen leaving their seats before the final bell of the colorless, tasteless main event that saw the unbeaten Pagara scoring his 26th victory.
There was overriding expectation for a rousing knockout, send-off wins before the twin gems of the Ala Stable are let loose to chase international stardom.
Not too fast, please.
* * *
They have all the right to blame Pagara and Mark Magsayo’s disappointing stands on the sickening evasiveness of their foes.
At the same time though, it would not be fair to peddle the line that the two Pinoy Pride 35 mainers were completely faultless.
Pagara and Magsayo failed to deliver and follow the script due to their own limitations.
* * *
Pagara got the chance to corner, hurt and drop his Nicaraguan foe with a barrage to the body in the seventh round.
The way it would be reported from ringside, the frail Nicaraguan equipped with nothing more than powder-puff punches had squeezed through the ropes and rushed out of the ring.
No. A review of the fight on Sunday night over ABS-CBN would show big, muscular Pagara allowing himself to be confused and stalled by the unusual tricks of his wily opponent, who even found time to taunt him.
Pagara could not adjust, he had no resolution, and was totally lacking in enough urgency to score a compelling win.
* * *
Unlike in a bullfight when the matador does his best and goes for the kill no matter how difficult and stupid the beast could be, Pagara cutely allowed himself to be rewarded with a hollow victory.
Mark Magsayo, for his part, also floored his Mexican foe once. How he suddenly turned tentative, soft and aimless had caused the female television broadcaster at ringside to complain about the dullness of the bout. In fact, she also proceeded to finish annotating the bout as though covering a chess match.
One tip to the handlers of the two young ALA Stable stars: Please find time to check on hollow spots in the boxers’ artillery. For example, both Pagara and Magsayo, strong as they are, tend to slam or push most of their big blows. Punches travel a breezy distance before landing. A technical tinkering could add the required snap and rhythm, the killer impact normally developed with the help of perfect timing and proper breathing.
Faithful fans, by the way, also deserve their money’s worth.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.