Tabuelan, Cebu’s ‘KJ’ Cataraja earns OPBF title via unanimous decision win over Heno

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | February 12,2023 - 01:46 PM

Kevin Jake Cataraja

Kevin Jake Cataraja reacts after winning the OPBF super flyweight title against Edward Heno on Saturday evening in General Santos City. | Photo from Cataraja’s Facebook page.

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Tabuelan’s pride, Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja, captured the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super flyweight title by defeating Edward “El Heneral” Heno via unanimous decision on Saturday evening in General Santos City.

The 27-year-old Cataraja of ZIP Sanman Boxing Team emerged victorious in what could be the most difficult bout of his pro boxing career as he fought an equally determined Heno in his first 12-rounder bout.

Cataraja clinched the OPBF title after all three judges favored him after 12 rounds. Judge Elmer Costillas scored it 117-111, Brembot Dulalas saw it 116-112, and Edgar Olalo had it 118-110 all for Cataraja who remained unbeaten in 16 fights with 13 knockouts.

Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Paranaque City-based Heno dropped to a 15-2-6 (win-loss-draw) record with five knockouts.

The victory for Cataraja means that the is ready for bigger bouts. He is currently ranked  No. 6 in the WBO with Kazuto Ioka of Japan as the champion and No. 13 in the IBF with Fernando Martinez of Argentina currently holding the title.

Now that he captured the OPBF title, Cataraja would likely break into the WBC’s top 15 world rankings.

Despite the loss, Heno gave Cataraja a great fight. The former world title challenger started the bout aggressively, pressing forward with multiple combinations.

He had some great moments, particularly in the sixth and ninth rounds when he cornered Cataraja numerous times, while launching multiple combinations.

However, Cataraja managed to block most of Heno’s punches and survived the onslaught.

Heno suffered a cut on his right eyebrow after they clashed heads in the ninth round. He suffered another cut in the 11th round on his left cheek for the same reason, but Heno continued to fight.

He continued to press forward, but Cataraja’s jabs and straights were the biggest factors for the judges to favor the Cebuano boxer.


Cataraja, Heno ready to rumble for OPBF super flyweight title in Gensan

Cataraja fights for OPBF super fly crown in February

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TAGS: boxing, Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, OPBF, unanimous decision

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