Unbeaten Albert Pagara in for the toughest challenge of career against dangerous Mexican Cesar Juarez 
Albert Pagara and Cesar Juarez in a staredown.

RISING star Albert Pagara battles dangerous Cesar Juarez of Mexico in a fight that could have a big say on whether the unbeaten Filipino is ripe enough to challenge for a world title.

The 12-round bout is the main event of Pinoy Pride 37: Fists of the Future at the San Mateo Events Center in San Francisco, California, on Sunday (Manila time), and also serves as possible coming out party for the 22-year-old pride of ALA boxing if ever he’ll get past the one-time world title challenger.

Pagara has been in the U.S. for more than two months and spent the greater part of it training at the famed Wild Card gym in Hollywood, California. He said he’s ready to take on Juarez and hopes to get a crack of challenging for a world championship.

“My team and I studied how Juarez fights and we’ve worked on our game plan. I trained extra hard for this fight,” said Pagara on facing the toughest challenge of his young career that currently stands at 26-0 (18 KOs).

“I’m ready for Juarez. Whatever comes next for me, I’ll be ready. I want to get (a shot) at a world championship.”

For sure, it won’t be a walk in the park.

Juarez (17-5, 13 KOs) had proven in the past how tough a warrior he is, extending Nonito Donaire for 12 full rounds before losing a unanimous decision in their World Boxing Organization (WBO) super bantamweight title match last December.

 And while he has so much respect for his Filipino opponent, he admitted considering Pagara as a springboard for a likely rematch with the 33-year-old Donaire.

“Not overlooking this fight with Pagara, I want a rematch with Donaire,” he declared days leading to the match, where the WBO Intercontinental super-bantamweight crown will be at stake.

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“I consider Albert a good fighter, but he doesn’t have the experience,” added the 24-year-old Mexican. “Between both of us, I have the hunger for victory.”

Both fighters tipped the scale at 121.5 lbs. during the official weigh-in Saturday (Manila time).

Albert’s older brother Jason Pagara meanwhile, also sees action in the main supporting bout against Abraham Alvarez in a welterweight bout set for 10 rounds.

Jason came in at 146 lbs., while Alvarez tipped in at exactly 147 lbs.

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