Christian Araneta inches a step closer to a world title shot as he trades leathers with unbeaten South African knockout artist Sivenathi Nontshinga in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight title eliminator.
The winner of the title eliminator becomes the mandatory challenger of IBF light flyweight champion Felix Alvarado.
“I don’t know (the details) yet, but that fight is already a go,” Araneta’s coach Jinggoy Junco told SunStar Cebu.
Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP), which promotes Nontshinga, already announced that the IBF eliminator will be on April 25, 2021 in South Africa.
“The only advantage they have is their home court. I have never been this confident,” said Junco. “Araneta has power, experience and maturity in the game.”
No. 3 rated Nontshinga was originally slated to face No. 4 ranked Abraham Rodriguez in the IBF eliminator, but the Mexican turned down the opportunity, which paved the way for No. 5 Araneta to step in.
The 22-year-old Nontshinga, nicknamed “Special One,” is one of South Africa’s rising stars. He has been knocking out opponents here and there and is currently the IBF International light flyweight king. He’s coming off a knockout win over Filipino Ivan Soriano on March 8, 2020 in East London, South Africa.
“He has that one punch knockout. He’d better make some adjustments because we’re coming inside,” said Junco.
This will be Araneta’s second time fighting outside the country. The only other time Araneta fought outside the Philippines was in Mexico against Daniel Valladares in 2019. He lost his fight with Valladares via a fourth round stoppage after injuring his shoulder.
“We won’t let it reach a decision. But we’re not scared (of getting robbed) because this is an eliminator. The judges will be random and come from different parts of the world. This is bigger than a regional belt,” said Junco.
The 25-year-old Araneta is coming off an impressive first round knockout of Roland Jay Biendima on Dec. 18, 2020 at the IPI Compound in Mandaue City.
“We never stopped training. We kept it steady. We have been waiting for this moment,” said Junco.
Araneta has been sparring with his heavier teammates – Pete Apolinar and Franco Serafica, who are both featherweights.
“It’s good that he’ll get used to heavier punches. The opponent is a big puncher,” said Junco. “They have a hard time hitting Christian, who’s a veteran and is quicker than them.”
Araneta is 19-1 with 15 knockouts, while Nontshinga is 9-0 with nine knockouts. (EKA)