VIETNAM-BASED Cebuano AJ Paciones faces his stiffest test to date as he defends his World Boxing Association (WBA) Asia light flyweight belt against fellow undefeated Filipino Jhazeel Trinidad on March 28, 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 19-year-old Paciones is coming off a huge year in 2023. He kicked off last year with an impressive second round technical knockout of Thai Sarawut Jiamthong. Paciones then bagged the WBA Asia light flyweight belt with a sixth round stoppage of former regional champion Jonathan Refugio. He then totally outclassed Chinese Jin Ping Yang by a convincing unanimous decision before capping off the year with successful title defense of his WBA Asia strap with a lopsided unanimous decision over Thai Kitidech Hirunsuk.
Like Paciones, the 26-year-old Trinidad also had a breakout year in 2023. He started off the year with a first round stoppage of former world title challenger Vergilio Silvano. He followed it up with a second round stoppage of John Paul Tabanao. Trinidad’s impressive performance didn’t stop there as he scored a fourth round knockout of fellow prospect Roslan Eco to capture the vacant Philippine Boxing Federation (PBF) light flyweight title. Trinidad then ended 2023 with a bang after scoring a first round technical knockout of Eldin Guinahon in a title defense of his PBF belt.
Paciones is 7-0 with four knockouts, while Trinidad is 11-0 with six knockouts. / EKA