Friday, September 21, 2018

Putting clean slate on the line

No rush. KJ CAtaraja (left) is looking to score a knockout against his Indonesian foe. He however will bide his time and wait for the opportunity for a sure KO. (SunStar Foto/Richiel Chavez)

UNDEFEATED fighter Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja feels no pressure as he faces Indonesian foe Frengky Rohi in the main event of Idol 3 Boxing in his hometown at the Tabuelan Astrodome in Tabuelan, Cebu, tomorrow.

The former amateur standout Cataraja (7-0-0, 6KOs) will return to the ring after a nine-month layoff and will fight for the first time in his hometown against Rohi (5-4-1, 1KO) in a 10-rounder 113lbs bout.

“I feel no pressure fighting in my hometown. This is my first time to fight in Tabuelan and I prepared to give them a good fight,” said Cataraja during a press conference at the St. Mark Hotel yesterday.

Cataraja, a criminology graduate at University of Visayas, said that there’s something special in this bout since it’s the first time that her mother and some members of his family will watch him fight in the ring.

“They have not seen me fight even on my amateur years before. So I’m excited for this fight,” said Cataraja, who won by knockout on his last fight against Wiljan Ugbaniel in Sept. 16 last year at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

The 23-year-old Cataraja knows the magnitude of the fight and will leave no stone unturned to achieve an impressive fight outcome.

“I will prove in this fight that I deserve to be in a title fight,” he said.

Cataraja said his training has been continuous despite not fighting for about nine months. He was one of the sparring mates of three-division world champion and longest-reigning Filipino champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes.

“I’m not going to rush this. I’ve saw him fight on Youtube against a Thai, and I can say that he’s a good boxer. I’m going to take it step-by-step. If there’s an opportunity for a knockout I’m going to grab it,” Cataraja said.

ALA Gym’s head trainer Edito Villamor said that there are plans to give Cataraja a championship fight and also to put him on the undercard of the Donnie Nietes fight.

“There are plans for Cataraja but things will depend on his performance on this fight,” said Villamor.

Tabuelan Mayor Rex Gerona said that it’s the first time that the town has promoted a boxing event, which is part of the town’s fiesta on June 24. “We are very happy that the fight will happen in our municipality and Tabuelan’s very own KJ Cataraja will highlight the main event. We prepare the venue and invited the neighboring towns as well,” he said.

In the co-main events, Virgel Vitor (12-1, 7KOs) of Tagbilaran City trades leather with Mandaue City’s Gerpaul Valero (22-20-4, 16KOs); and undefeated Christian Bacolod (8, 6KOs) of Cebu City slugs it out with Sultan Kudarat’s Mervin Lulu (5-2-2, 2KOs).

The rest of the bouts will have Jimmy Paypa versus Jun Ryam Quimbo, Esneth Domingo against Ryan Makiputin, Justin Darap against Elmer Liboon and JR Villafuerte versus Tomas Rebusit. (RSC)