Thousands of proud town mates lined-up the streets here to see the new boxing sensation Prince Albert Pagara, who was given a hero’s welcome on Saturday in this city.
Pagara was with Maasin Mayor Maloney Samaco in a pick-up vehicle at the tail end of the Ajonay Festival parade. Welcoming the champion was the highlight of the celebration.
Prince Albert was born in Lib-og village, to Sabrian Herugalem and father Reynaldo Pagara.
Lib-og village, 20 kilometers away from the city center, has a growing candle-making cottage industry.
He had a sensational win having knocked-out Mexican boxer Jesus Chito Rios in two minutes to keep his international boxing federation junior featherweight title last August 8 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Pagara started out as an amateur boxer under the tutelage of Maasin Sports Council headed by Samaco. He won 10 gold medals in the Palarong Pambansa before his professional debut in 2011.
He was awarded as one of the Outstanding Southern LeyteAos during the 55th founding anniversary of Southern Leyte Province last July 1, for his contribution in sports.
The bout in Dubai was the first international fight for the young boxer.
After the motorcade a short program followed honoring the 21-year old Pagara. He was given a plaque of appreciation and a cash incentive.
His victory cemented the theme of the recent 15th charter anniversary of the city which was Celebrate the City of Champions.
He announced that his next international fight would be on October 17, 2015 at Carson City, California either to a Tazanian or a Mexican fighter. Then next would be a world-titled fight against him who is touted as the next Manny Pacquiao.
A showdown of contingents followed for the Ajonay Festival after the recognition ceremony. (PNA)