KJ CA is out to prove that he deserves a world title shot as he battles fellow world-rated Edward Heno for the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super flyweight strap on Feb. 11 at the Oval Plaza Gym in Gen. Santos City.
Cataraja is in for a tough assignment against Heno in a fight that should determine if he’s ready for a world title shot.
“I should fight smart and be alert of his wild punches,” Cataraja told SunStar Cebu.
Cataraja tipped the scales way below the flyweight limit at 113 pounds, while Heno weighed-in right on the dot at 115 pounds.
The 27-year-old Cataraja had two fights last year. He stopped Romshane Sarguilla in three rounds and Ronel dela Cruz in a single round.
Heno also got two wins in 2022. He outclassed Renoel Pael by a lopsided unanimous decision and settled to a unanimous draw with Bryan Lobetania.
Cataraja going for a run at a world title and win over fellow world-ranked Heno should boost him up the rankings. Cataraja is currently rated No. 6 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 13 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), while Heno is ranked No. 25 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Cataraja should break into the WBC rankings if he beats Heno and wins the OPBF strap.
If successful, Cataraja could make a run at either of the three organizations.
However, Cataraja’s main target is the WBC and a dream fight against Mexican super star Juan Francisco Estrada, the current titleholder.
“I’ll fight for any of the world titles but I prefer the WBC,” said Cataraja.
Cataraja is 15-0 with 13 knockouts, while the 30-year-old Heno is 15-1-6 with five knockouts.
World-ranked flyweight Dave Apolinario (17-0, 12 KOs) is up against experienced Indonesian Frengky Rohi (8-12-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round co-main feature.
The 24-year-old Apolinario is coming off a huge win last year with an impressive first round knockout over Gideon Buthelezi in South Africa. Apolinario is on the brink of a world title shot and is currently ranked No. 2 by the World Boxing Association (WBA), No. 6 by the IBF and No. 12 by the WBC.
In the undercard, Michael Romarate (14-1-1, 9 KOs) makes his ring return after a long layoff and trades leathers with veteran Kim Lindog (8-14-1, 5 KOs); Alex Santisima Jr. (5-0, 2 KOs) faces off with Ramel Antaran (5-20-2); Jaymar Gaballo (2-0, 2 KOs) slugs it out with Ryan Makaputin (13-20-2, 4 KOs); and Kenth Gaballo makes his pro debut against fellow newcomer Jorge Perez.
READY. KJ Cataraja (left) poses alongside opponent Edward Heno. / SANMAN BOXING
February 10, 2023
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