GETTING Ready to Rumble. KJ Cataraja (left) and Edward Heno (right) holds the OPBF Red belt after they successfully made the weights. (Photo from KJ Cataraja Facebook account)
CEBU City, Philippines — Undefeated Filipino standout Kevin Jake ‘KJ’ Cataraja vowed to score an impressive victory as he tries to claim the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super flyweight title against former regional champion Edward “El Heneral Fighting” Heno of Paranaque City tomorrow night at the Oval Plaza Gym in General Santos City.
KJ Cataraja weighed 113lbs during the official weigh in held yesterday at the Oval Plaza Gym in General Santos City. OPBF fight supervisor Arnie Najera (right, in suit) supervised the official weigh-in session.
Cataraja (15-0, 13KOs) is optimistic about snaring the OPBF title as he went to a gruelling and extensive camp in preparation for what he described as an important fight of his career.
“This is very important for me. Aside from winning the (OPBF) belt, the victory will also get me closer to my dream of fighting for the world championship,” said the 27-year-old Cebuano.
Cataraja thinks that he is setting his sights on the WBC crown that is currently held by American Jesse Rodriguez. The unbeaten Rodriguez will defend his belt against Mexican Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez next month in San Antonio Texas.
At the weigh in this noon, Cataraja weighed 113lbs while Heno scaled at exactly 115lbs.
“I’m motivated to move to the big stage, and I am also inspired by my stablemate and buddy Melvin (Jerusalem) who is now a world champion,” he said.
BOUT Officials headed by OPBF supervisor Arnie Najera (right) posed with the promoter Jim Claude Manangquiul of Sanman-Zip Promotions (3rd from left) and Edward Henor’s manager Aljoe Jaro (2nd from right).
“I trained for this fight since October, and I believe I did enough at the camp. I also sparred with tough boxers like Jeo (Santisima) and Mark (Vicelles),” added Cataraja, who was also part of the training camp of Japanese pound-for-pound champion Naoya Inoue where he serves as one of the Japanese ring star’s sparring partners.
But before he focuses on a world title shot, Cataraja must accomplish a tough mission in beating Heno (15-1, 5KOs) who is expected to give the Cebuano a tough challenge.
OPBF championship Officiating Officials, from left to right Brembot Dulalas (judge), Jerrold Tomeldan (referee), Arnie Najera (supervisor), Elmer Costillas (judge) and, Edgar Olalo (judge).
Heno fought for the WBO light flyweight title three years ago against Mexican Elwin Soto where he lost via unanimous decision. (Lemuel P. Maglinte)
SPARRING Partner. KJ Cataraja poses with undisputed Bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue after their training session.
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