INTERNATIONAL Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 4 rated light flyweight Christian Araneta and his team will leave for South Africa Friday, April 9, 2021, ahead of his world title eliminator bout with South African knockout artist Sivenathi Nontshinga later this month.
Araneta along with Omega Boxing Gym head coach Jinggoy Junco and Omega Sports Promotions vice president Jerome Calatrava will leave Cebu for South Africa at 6 p.m.
“We will be there early because we have to do quarantine and so that Christian can acclimatize there,” Calatrava told SunStar Cebu.
Araneta and Nontshinga will fight in an IBF light flyweight world title eliminator in the main event of Rumble Africa’s “Boxing Lockdown” at the Boardwalk Hotel in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
Since losing to Mexican Daniel Valladares in Mexico on Sept. 9, 2019 via a fourth round stoppage due to a shoulder injury, the 26-year-old Araneta bounced back well and won back-to-back fights. He outclassed Richard Rosales by a unanimous decision in the Philippines’ first boxing event since Covid-19 stopped all sporting events in 2020. He followed it up with a devastating first round knockout of Roland Jay Biendima also in 2020.
“Christian has the experience over his opponent, but we do not want overconfidence to derail his chances. He needs to do the game plan and execute it well, defend himself better, and if a knockout comes then grab it,” said Calatrava.
The 22-year-old Nontshinga is known for his intimidating power punches, in which he knocked out all of his nine opponents.
Nontshinga last saw action against Filipino veteran Ivan Soriano on March 8, 2020. He knocked Soriano out in five rounds.
“We can win this fight, we just need to be patient. We have to watch out for his powerful right hand,” said Junco. “We’ll just wait for the right timing and defend well before we attack when he slows down.”
Araneta, the former Word Boxing Organization Oriental light flyweight champion, is 19-1 with 15 knockouts, while Nontshinga, rated No. 3 by the IBF, is 9-0 with nine knockouts.
“This is very important for him because this will allow him to fight the world champion and finally reach his goal, and ours, which is a world title belt. But let’s focus on the task at hand first, which is beating his African opponent,” said Calatrava.
The winner of the fight becomes the mandatory title challenger of current IBF light flyweight champion Felix Alvarado, who recently defended his belt via a 10th round technical knockout of DeeJay Kriel.