Pagara didn’t show any signs of ring rust despite the long hiatus. He was crafty and boxed and moved beautifully.
Villanueva was a worthy opponent, stood in front and traded some vicious blows with Pagara.
However, Pagara, who was sporting his trademark blonde hair, was more accurate with his punches and even bloodied Villanueva’s nose.
Villanueva had enough and quit at the end of the fourth round.
“I think I fought really well even though I’ve been out for two years. My movement was good and I had the stamina,” Pagara told SunStar Cebu.
Pagara improved to 34-1 with 24 knockouts, while Villanueva suffered his fourth straight defeat and dropped to 11-4 with eight knockouts.
“I will go down in weight in my next fight because 140 is too heavy. I’ll fight at either 126 or 130 pounds,” said Pagara.
Pagara said he’ll be returning to action in January in a Sinulog boxing show at the Cebu City Sports Center. He’ll be fighting for a World Boxing Organization (WBO) regional title against either an Indonesian or a Thai at either super featherweight or featherweight.
In the main event, former amateur standout Kit Ceron Garces scored a unanimous decision over tough Ian Donaire to win the vacant World Boxing Federation Australasian flyweight belt.
Garces, a native of Talisay City, dropped Donaire in the opening round with a series of body shots.
Garces knocked Donaire down again in the third round. Donaire, still wobbly, beat the referee’s count but he was swarmed by devastating blows by Garces. Somehow, Donaire survived the onslaught and finished the round standing.
In the fourth round, Donaire landed a left hooked that rocked Garces, who looked a little gassed out because of the punches he threw in the previous round.
In the eighth round, Donaire found his mark and sent Garces on his knee with a right hook to the head but the latter stood up and finished the fight. The early knockdowns for Garces paid off as he got the nod of all three judges with identical scores of 77-75.
Garces remained unbeaten with 5-0 with four knockouts, while Donaire dropped 4-2-1 with three knockouts.