Araneta punches closer to world title

CEBUANO prospect Christian Araneta is closing in on a world title shot as he locks horns with South African knockout artist Sivenathi Nontshinga in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight title eliminator at dawn Sunday, April 25, 2021, at the Boardwalk Hall in Gqberha, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

Araneta is the No. 4 ranked light flyweight, while Nontshinga is rated third. The winner becomes the mandatory challenger of IBF light flyweight champion Felix Alvarado.

Nontshinga boasts his 100 percent knockout rate and vowed to knock out Araneta.

“He said he’ll break Christian in five rounds. We want him to be overly aggressive and go wild,” Araneta’s trainer Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu. “If he over commits with his punches, that’s the time we’ll counter. We’ll be patient, a knockout will come.”

The 26-year-old Araneta hit a snag in his young budding career after suffering a shoulder injury and losing to Daniel Valladares in 2019. He has bounced back since by winning back-to-back fights against tough veteran Richard Rosales and Roland Jay Biendema in 2020.

Nontshinga, in the meantime, has been destroying his opponents left and right. He is coming off a fifth round knockout over experienced Filipino Ivan Soriano in 2020.

Araneta is 19-1 with 15 knockouts, while Nontshinga is 9-0 with nine knockouts.

On the other hand, Jerald Palcar (15-4-3, 8 KOs) takes on World Boxing Organization (WBO) International super flyweight king Yanga Sigqibo (14-1-1, 4 KOs) in the undercard.

Palcar is coming off a unanimous decision win over Donny Mabao.

WBO No. 4 rated Sigqibo scored a second round knockout over Pinoy Cris Paulino in 2020. (EKA)