Boxing: Despite KO win, Albert Pagara still needs work regaining old form

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Although he managed to stop his opponent in his recent outing, super bantamweight “Prince” Albert Pagara doesn’t seem fully recovered yet from his knockout defeat to Cesar Juarez a year ago, boxing analyst Ed Tolentino says.

Tolentino personally witnessed Pagara’s bout against Thailand’s Aekkawee Kaewmanee in “Pinoy Pride 41” and noticed there’s still something off about Pagara.

“He was tentative with the jab and still groped for an offensive rhythm,” Tolentino said. “The debris of that knockout loss to Cesar Juarez were still evident in the fight against Thai (Aekkawee) Kaewmanee.”

Pagara’s 4th-round KO win over Aekkawee in Cebu on July 8 came exactly a year after he was dropped in the 8th round by Juarez in California on July 9, 2016.

Between those two fights, Pagara got on the ring just once, a unanimous decision victory in November.

The showboating Aekkawee boasted a solid chin, prompting Pagara to go down to his body and unload a vicious left to the liver that sent Aekkawee rolling on the canvas in the 4th round. 

Tolentino thinks Pagara could have finished off Aekkawee much earlier. 

“The Thai was hardly a test, and I thought there was already something wrong with his ribs when he refused to sit on the stool in the break before the 4th round,” Tolentino said. 

“Still, Pagara did register a knockout win with a savage left hook to the body in the 4th round that was aided by the Thai clowning around and dropping his guard.”

“Pagara is still working to regain his old form, but he still has time on his side. It is not easy to recover from the Juarez holocaust, but he has to stay active in the ring to fully regain his confidence.”

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