DUBAI – Prince Albert Pagara treated this bustling city like his own kingdom following a technical knockout win over outclassed Mexican Jesus Rios in their bantamweight title fight at the World Trade Center on Friday night (early Saturday, Manila time).
Pagara quickly swarmed all over Rios right from the opening bell of their 12-round bout that obviously unsettled the Mexican challenger. A right straight and a left cross by the champion had Rios down to the canvas for the first time that sent the capacity crowd of 4,100 in a frenzy.
Rios managed to beat the count, allowing referee Bruce McTavish to continue the fight.
But with the Mexican visibly wobbly, the Filipino went for the kill and let loose a barrage of combinations against the hapless Rios, forcing McTavish to step in and stop the carnage at the 2:00 minute mark of the first round.
The 21-year-old rising star of Cebu-based ALA Promotions retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF) Intercontinental super-bantamweight crown as he improved his record to 24-0, with 17 KOs.
Rios (31-8-1, 25 KOs) wore a 10-oz glove as penalty for coming two pounds over the limit during the official weigh-in on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
The Mexican was badly hurt after the fight that he collapsed unconscious later on. But he was later revived after being given oxygen by the medical team at ringside.
The night was a double celebration for the Pagaras as elder brother Jason hacked out an eight-round technical decision over another Mexican in Ramiro Alcaraz in the co-featured fight of the boxing card 'Duel in Dubai 2’ presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
Jason suffered two cuts caused by accidental headbutts during their bloody and ugly 10-round light-welterweight match.
After another Alcaraz headbutt in the eight round left Pagara with a bloodied eye, ring physician and Games and Amusement Board (GAB) boxing head Nasser Cruz was called to examine the Filipino, who he later declared unfit to continue fighting.
Pagara won in all the judges’ scorecards, 77-73, 76-74, 78-72. He improved his overall record to 36-2-0, with 22 KOs.