LOS ANGELES – For the last month, young Filipino boxers Jason and Albert Pagara have been preparing at a historic gym in Los Angeles ahead of their matches at Pinoy Pride 37 at the San Mateo Event Center on July 9.
The two ALA fighters just wrapped up the Los Angeles leg of their training camp at the Wild Card Gym this past weekend.
"Okay naman 'yung training namin ngayon. Ready na kami, 100% na 'yung condition namin," said Jason Pagara.
The unbeaten Albert will be taking on Mexican Cesar Juarez, a tough contender who just last December lost to Nonito Donaire Jr. in a vicious slugfest.
"Magaling din lumaban si Juarez. Slugger, fighter, sugod ng sugod. Pero sa akin, nag-training kami at saka 'yung stamina natin, 'yun ang importante naming ginagawa para sa laban," the younger Pagara said.
Older brother Jason, a top contender in the 140-pound division, will be taking on another Mexican in Abraham Alvarez.
Jason is hoping that a big win in San Mateo can propel him to a title match, possibly against the winner of next month's title unification bout between champions Terrence Crawford and Viktor Postol.
"Masaya ako kung laban ako sa world, kung sino manalo sa kanila dalawa, Crawford or Postol, tingnan natin. Mag-train, training hard talaga ako," said Jason. "Kung ano pa ang opportunities na bigay ng ALA Promotions sa akin, ready na ako lumaban sa world title."
Coach Freddie Roach has hosted the ALA fighters and has overseen their sparring sessions. Jason has worked with a pair of former Manny Pacquiao sparring mates in Jose Ramirez and Lydell Rhodes.
"I'm very thankful that they're here," said Roach. "They've made my fighters better fighters. Jose Ramirez has gotten the most work from this group because they're more in his weight class, and he's very good."
This is the second time that the Pagara brothers have trained at the Wild Card Gym, and Roach believes they may have what it takes to be the future of Filipino boxing.
The fighters and the coaches are also set to participate in a series of meet-and-greet sessions with fight fans and kababayans as the fight card draws closer.