CEBU

Araneta’s arsenal: Defense, maturity

Defense and maturity will be key to Cebuano hard-hitter Christian Araneta’s victory in his upcoming fight in South Africa this weekend against South African knockout artist Sivenathi Nontshinga.

“His maturity in his game and the perfect defense. If he’ll have the perfect defense in this fight, that 100 percent knockout ratio will be useless,” Araneta’s trainer Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.

Araneta and Nontshinga will battle 12 rounds in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight world title eliminator in the main event of “Boxing Lockdown” on April 25, 2021 (PH time) at Boardwalk Hotel in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

Since suffering his first career loss in 2019, a fourth round shoulder injury stoppage against Mexican Daniel Valladares, the 26-year-old Araneta was impressive in both of his fights in 2020. The Borbon native totally outclassed tough Ricard Rosales via a lopsided unanimous decision after coming off a long layoff. He followed it up with an impressive first round knockout over Roland Jay Biendima.

The 22-year-old Nontshinga, on the other hand, has gained notoriety for knocking out all his opponents in his budding four-year boxing career. His most recent fight was against a Filipino, Ivan Soriano, who he knocked out in just five rounds.

Araneta just had his swab for Covid-19 taken and is just a few more pounds above the 108-pound weight limit.

“We’re in a private place. Just us and no other people. We also have our own gym,” said Junco. “This is part of the negotiations. We did a good job (in the negotiations) on our end, especially Sir Jerome and Boss Pio (Castillo), who placed us in a comfortable position.”

Araneta is 19-1 with 15 knockouts, while Nontshinga is 9-0 with nine knockouts. Araneta is rated No. 4, while Nontshinga is No. 3 in the IBF light flyweight division. The winner becomes the mandatory challenger of IBF light flyweight king Felix Alvarado.

Meanwhile, another Pinoy pug is seeing action in the undercard.

Jerald Palcar (15-4-3, 8 KOs) is challenging World Boxing Organization (WBO) International super flyweight champion Yanga Sigqibo (14-1-1, 4 KOs).

Palcar last fought in 2019 and beat battle-scarred veteran Donny Mabao by unanimous decision.

Sigqibo, rated No. 4 by the WBO, last saw action against Cris Paulino in 2020, who he knocked out in the seventh round. (EKA)


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