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Inoue-Dasmariñas world title fight in the eyes of KJ Cataraja

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | June 15,2021 - 04:01 PM


KJ Cataraja poses with Michael Dasmariñas (left photo) and Naoya Inoue (right photo). | Contributed Photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — If there’s someone out there who can make an objective assessment on the world title showdown between Filipino Michael “Hot and Spicy” Dasmariñas and Japanese Naoya “Monster” Inoue, it is Cebuano Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja.

Inoue will defend his World Boxing Association (WBA) super world bantamweight and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world bantamweight world titles against Dasmariñas on June 19, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cataraja, the 26-year old former ALA Boxing Gym standout is quite familiar with the fighting styles of both Inoue and Dasmariñas having served as a sparring partner for both boxers.

In an interview with CDN Digital, Cataraja revealed that this fight will be very fun to watch.

However, despite being optimistic about the underdog Dasmariñas’ chances of winning, Cataraja admitted that Inoue has a more stacked arsenal compared to the Filipino fighter.

“Daghan ug lamang si Inoue ani. Mas taas ug boxing IQ si Inoue ug mas naay power si Inoue,” added the unbeaten Cataraja who has a record of 12 wins including 10 knockouts.

“Para kang Dasmariñas, naa sad siya advantage kay pressure fighter man siya naa pud siya kusog pero dili kaayo siya abtik mo lihok. Kamao lang siya mo timing. Kinahanglan jud siya maka timing ani nga dula para ma tumba niya si Inoue.”

Cataraja helped Dasmariñas prepare for this fight as the latter’s sparring partner in his training camp in La Union last month.

Cataraja is one of the most-hired sparring partners by world champions. He already sparred with four-division world champion Donnie Nietes, Andrew Moloney, Kosei Tanaka, Milan Melindo, and Merlito Sabillo.

“Nindot kaayo ni nga fight. Sa part ni Dasmariñas, dako kaayo ni nga break para niya to prove kung unsa jud iyang ikabuga sa boxing,” said Cataraja of Tabuelan, north Cebu.

“Dako ko ug salig sa iyang confidence nga mopakita jud ug nindot nga dula kay tan-aw nako gusto jud niya mo daog. Dako ni nga dungog para ni Dasmariñas, pero para kang Inoue, mahulog ra siguro ni ug tuneup fight niya para sa rematch niya ni Donaire ug iyang fight ni Casimero.”

Cataraja became a regular sparring partner for Inoue from 2018 to 2020. He helped Inoue prepare for his big fights against Emmanuel Rodriguez and Carlos Payano.

Inoue is unbeaten at 20 wins with 17 knockouts while Dasmariñas has a record of 30-2-1 (win-loss-draw) record with 20 knockouts.

Cataraja who graduated in BS Criminology is also gearing up for his fight on July 4, 2021, under SanMan Promotions.   /rcg

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TAGS: ALA Boxing Gym, boxing, Naoya "Monster" Inoue

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