Cataraja working hard in US, waiting for perfect opportunity to show boxing skills

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | June 15,2023 - 08:38 PM

KJ Cataraja (right) says he is learning new things in training in the US including sparring with foreign boxers at the Wild Card Gym in Las Vegas and aside from that he has also met other boxing personalities like former champion Shawn Porter.

KJ Cataraja (right) says he is learning new things in training in the US including sparring with foreign boxers at the Wild Card Gym in Las Vegas and aside from that he has also met other boxing personalities like former champion Shawn Porter (left).

CEBU CITY, Philippines — World-rated Cebuano boxer, Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja, is grinding himself in training to prove that his stint in the United States is completely worth it.

Cataraja, one of ZIP Sanman’s banner boxers, has been in the United States since May to train alongside Filipino boxers in the hopes of landing his first international fight. 

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

Cataraja: Dreams slowly coming true

In an interview with CDN Digital, the undefeated 28-year-old Tabuelan town native said he’s slowly making his American dreams come true. 

“Dako kaayo ni nga opportunity para nako kay mao jud ni akong gipangandoy ug halos sa tanan Pinoy nga boxers nga makaabot diri sa U.S.,” said Cataraja who is rated No. 6 in the World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight division.

(This is a big opportunity for me because this is what I dreamed of and I guess all of the Pinoy boxers who reached here in the U.S.)

READ: Cataraja’s fight against Heno is a good test if he’s ready for bigger fights, says promoter

OPBF champ, No. 12 in IBF

Cataraja, who is the reigning Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) super flyweight champion, is also rated No. 12 in the International Boxing Federation (IBF). 

“Usa sa akong saad kay makahatag ko og dungog sa Pilipinas. Mao nang akong buhaton tanan nga makakuha ko og world title,” said Cataraja. 

(One of my promise is that I can give honor to the Philippines. That is why I will do all to get a world title.)

“As of now, waiting pa jud ko. Nagpaabot ko nga naa mokuha nako diri og bisan tune-up fight lang. Kung moabot na, ako jud paninguhaon nga makita nila akong abilidad ug makita pud sa uban champions nga angay ko mahimong mandatory challenger nila,” he said.

(As of now, I am still waiting. I am waiting that someone would take me even if it is just a tuneup fight. If that will happen, I will try to let them see my ability and other champions will see that I am worthy to become a mandatory challenger to them.)

READ: Cebuano boxer, sparring partner of many world champions, dreams of being a world champion one day 

Sparring with top-caliber boxers

Cataraja said that he was having a great time sparring and training alongside not just Filipino boxers, but also top-caliber American and foreign boxers. 

He said that he had trained alongside former world champion Jerwin Ancajas and former world title challenger Jonas Sultan who had fought under American promoter Sean Gibbons at the WildCard Gym in Los Angeles and at the latter’s gym in Las Vegas.

“Daghan kaayo ko nakat-unan nga bag-o diri sa U.S. specially sa mga bag-ong klase nga training unya ang climate diri mo matter. Daghan nako nakasparring diri nga foreign boxers pareho ni Francisco Rodriguez kadtong nakontra ni Donnie Nietes sa una,” Cataraja said.

(I have learned a lot of new things here in the U.S. specially the new class of training and also the climate would matter. I have sparred many foreign boxers like Francisco Rodriguez, the one that Donnie Nietes fought before.) 

Cataraja improved his unbeaten record to 16 wins with 13 knockouts after his previous bout ended with a unanimous decision victory against veteran Edward Henno last February in General Santos City. 


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TAGS: boxing, Cataraja, Kevin Jake “KJ” Cataraja

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