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MIGUEL ANTOINE OF BARBADOS CHALLENGES JASON PAGARA


PhilBoxing.com




Jason “El Niño” Pagara will fight undefeated Miguel Antoine (17-0-1, 9KOs) of Barbados for the WBO international junior welterweight championship. Antoine is a dangerous opponent who is aiming for his third straight win. He defeated Revlon Lake of Guyana by a unanimous decision to garner the WBC Caribbean Boxing Federation lightweight title. The CABOFE is one of the nine regional boxing associations affiliated by the World Boxing Council.

Antoine also had a previous win against another Guyanian Mark Austin. Prior to that fight he had a split draw with Jermaine King another fighter from Guyana. Before the bout with Antoine, King suffered three straight defeats.

Nicknamed “Hands of Stone” like Roberto Duran, Antoine will fight for the first time outside the Caribbean. He has fought in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. It remains to be seen though whether he is similar to Duran in the rigidity of punches. Nevertheless, he has a 50% knockout rate. But his previous foes were not that world class.

He promised to wrest the crown away from the Filipino WBO international champion. But Pagara is unfazed by the threat. “El Niño” gained more confidence when he exacted sweet revenge over his Mexican tormentor Rosbel Montoya who inflected Jason’s second loss. His first loss was dealt by Filipino-Australian Rey Anton Olarte in 2007 via unanimous decision.

Pagara on the other hand has a record of 29-2 with 18KOs. The ALA Gym mainstay has a bigger KO rate of 58% and has fought international caliber opponents. He has the advantage also in experience. Pagara did not show over-confidence in dealing with the Caribbean champion. I visited him in one of his serious trainings at the ALA Gym. I also extended help for his family at Lib-og, Maasin City, Southern Leyte.

Barbados, Antoine’s home country, is an independent island state in the Caribbean Sea, covering an area of 431 square kilometres. It has a population of around 284,000 people. Antoine lives in Bridgetown, the capital city with a population of around 80,000. Barbados is the leading tourist destination in the Caribbean.

Boxing is not so popular in this member-nation of the British Commonwealth as compared to the fame of the sport here in our country. Their most well-liked team sport is cricket, like any British Caribbean colony. It hosted the final of the 2007 Cricket world Cup. Other popular sports are golf, horse racing and polo. Barbadians also paly basketball and volleyball as indoor sports.

The country also has a liking for athletics. Obadele Thompson won a bronze medal in the 100 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Ryan Brathwaite, a hurdler, reached the 2008 Beijing Olympic semi-finals. He won the first ever gold medal for Barbados in the world championships in 2009 in Berlin, Germany in 110 meter hurdles.

Photo: Miguel Antoine (C) in file photo.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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