KJ CATARAJA will help out Michael Dasmarinas in sparring for his upcoming world title fight with World Boxing Association Super and International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Naoya Inoue on June 19, 2021 at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Cataraja will join Dasmarinas’ training camp in La Union on Sunday, May 2, 2021.
“This is a huge opportunity for me to enhance my skills in boxing because I’m being chosen as a sparring partner for a huge fight,” the 25-year-old Cataraja told SunStar Cebu.
Aside from his world-class talent, Cataraja should be a huge boost in Dasmarinas’ training because he’s very familiar with Inoue.
Cataraja, 12-0 with 10 knockouts, has been Inoue’s sparring partner in Japan in three different occasions.
“I was his sparring partner three times,” he said. “I think I can help him out by pointing out the weaknesses that I have seen in Inoue. But it’s still up to him on how to use it in the fight.”
Cataraja helped Inoue prepare for his fights with Juan Carlos Payano in 2018, Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2019 and Johnriel Casimero in 2020, which was cancelled.
Cataraja, the No. 12 rated super flyweight by the World Boxing Organization, will be sparring with Dasmarinas for three weeks.
Dasmarinas earned the No. 1 spot in the bantamweight division of the IBF after beating Kenny Demecillo by unanimous decision in their IBF bantamweight title eliminator in 2019. Dasmarinas followed up that win with a fifth-round technical knockout of Artid Bamrungauea later that year in an activity fight.
Inoue established his name as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters after beating some of the best in the lower weight divisions, the likes of Adrian Hernandez, Omar Narvaez, Rodriguez and Nonito Donaire Jr.
Inoue is coming off a seventh-round knockout win over Jason Moloney.
Dasmarinas is 30-2-1 with 20 knockouts, while Inoue is 20-0 with 17 knockouts. (EKA)