Pagara could’ve been slaughtered | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Pagara could’ve been slaughtered

WHERE he is vacationing now, Prince Albert Pagara, required to take a two-month break from boxing, should be safe and sound. He has vowed to come back from his shattering knockout defeat in California last weekend.

The way Pagara looked and sounded on his way from the hospital, where he was rushed immobile on a stretcher after suffering an 8th round stoppage, he should be ready to bounce back soon-with a bang!

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“Naunahan lang po ako (He just got me first.)” Pagara said of veteran Cesar Juarez, the raging Mexican bull who tore him apart with savage blows to head and body.

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Before everything else though, it might help if Pagara and his handlers first considered outside advice and tips before the young star of the famous ALA Stable is allowed to resume fighting.

Pagara may not hear it where he stands now. But there’s a resounding call from exasperated citizens of the boxing community for him to first undergo an overhaul, mainly in defense, if he hopes to be truly competitive again—and safe inside the ring.

Charlie, a cheery-eyed tricycle driver who plies the G. Aglipay stretch off the cockfight arena in Mandaluyong City, said Pagara should be kinder both to himself and Filipino fight fans. Why? Because, Charlie said, Pagara delivered a national heartache as terrible as that one caused by the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball team after it was ousted in dismal fashion from the recent Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the Mall of Asia in Pasay.

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“Mamamatay ’yan kung ’di aayusin ang sistema (He would get slaughtered if he doesn’t change)” observed Bobby Santos, keen-eyed student of boxing and chief stallholder at Munting Palengke in Mandaluyong.

Bobby S. noted that the gold-hued Pagara, who had gone unbeaten in 18 bouts before the Juarez fight, could indeed own the big bombs required of a would-be world champ. At the same time though, Santos decried what he called the appalling ignorance of Pagara about the grammar of defense in boxing.

He noted how Pagara would often freely push his face smack against the punches of his opponent—pansangga niya ’yung mukha.”

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This mindless stance was graphically recorded by lensman Ryan Medida, and posted by Philboxing.com chief Dong Secuya from ringside in San Mateo, California.

Pagara, by the way, would make a post-fight assessment that he fell because he got hit in the brain—“nasuntok ako sa utak.”

That’s hard to believe because it’s quite clear that Pagara was able to floor Juarez with a rare spear shot to the head late in the first round.

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It’s useless correcting that wrong recollection. But, in Pagara’s case, what urgently needs reformation is the shallow manner he slams his punches, loading up and shooting loose from the shoulder. While the accepted scientific technique is to launch a punch from the navel area, regarded as the seat of power, Pagara loves to play the primitive. He would often appear like a carpenter frantically nailing a frame against the wall. He would pound hard using shoulder power, instead of breathe properly and spear shots sharply from the center of the belly.

Anyway, one supporter of Pagara said the colorful ALA Stable star, young and and raw, should be able to improve in due time.

Maybe, but the best that can be suggested at this point is to please get Pagara a more competent and knowledgeable trainer. You know, one who can pound into the poor fighter’s head that he need not be an incurable masochist in order to succeed. There’s true gold in great defense.

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TAGS: Boxing, Cesar Juarez, Prince Albert Pagara
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