UNBEATEN super flyweight prospect KJ Cataraja is eager to test Michael Dasmariñas in sparring if he’s indeed ready for his upcoming world title fight with Japanese superstar Noaya Inoue on June 12 at the Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
“I want to test him if he’s indeed ready for Inoue. His sparring partners told me that he’s 80 percent ready,” Cataraja told SunStar Cebu.
Dasmariñas tapped the services of Cataraja as his sparring partner for the next three weeks in his training camp in La Union. They’ll start sparring on May 5.
After a brief stop in Manila for a Covid-19 swab test, the 25-year-old Cataraja has been cleared and is now with Dasmariñas in La Union.
“Yes (I’m excited). This is my first sparring in three weeks,” said Cataraja. “I sparred with Jeo (Santisima), Esneth (Domingo) and (Fernando) Ocon’s boxer, but after that I had no sparring for three weeks.”
Cataraja, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 12 rated super flyweight, should be able to gauge if Dasmariñas’ skills can compare to those of Inoue because he’s a former sparring partner of the Japanese boxing icon. Cataraja went to Japan and helped Inoue prepare for his fights with Juan Carlos Payano in 2018 and Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2019, and his cancelled fight with Johnriel Casimero in 2020.
Cataraja is also preparing for a fight in June in General Santos City.
Cataraja, 12-0 with 10 knockouts, last saw action on Dec. 17, 2020 in General Santos City. He demolished former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario in just a single round with a vicious body shot. (EKA)