By Carlos Costa
CEBU, Philippines — Araneta to Mexico. World-ranked Filipino 108-pounder Christian “The Bomb” Araneta (17-0, 14 KO’s) of Cebu’s Omega Gym is set to travel later tonight, Saturday August 31, to the historic city of Monterrey in Nuevo León, Mexico, for so far the most important fight of his life: the IBF World Title Eliminator.
The promising 24-year-old Cebuano southpaw can’t wait to engage in battle local Monterrey star world-rated Mexican Daniel “Cejitas” Valladares (20-1, 12 KO’s) in a hot 12-rounder IBF Light Flyweight World Title Eliminator this coming Saturday, September 7, at Monterrey’s Jose Sulaiman Arena, Northeastern Mexico.
The Pinoy Araneta and Mexican Valladares are the two highest IBF world-ranked fighters in the Light Flyweight (108 pound) division. The Filipino is IBF # 3, while the Mexican is IBF # 4.
Their rumble is crucial in the fighting career of both boxers because the winner claims the right to challenge strong Nicaraguan monster-puncher Felix Alvarado for the IBF Light Flyweight World Title.
Felix Alvarado (35-2, 30 KO’s) is the really tough coming-forward fighter who came to the Philippines to knockout Filipino Randy Petalcorin (30-3-1, 23 KO’s) last October in Manila.
After that melee, the Nicaraguan defeated Japanese challenger Reiya Konishi (17-2, 2 KO’s) last May in Kobe, Japan; and now Alvarado wants his next challenger. Will that one be Araneta? Or Valladares?
Owner of an 81% knock out ration, Alvarado is not an easy mission.
But fighting him is the mission that both, the Filipino Christian Araneta and the Mexican Daniel Valladares want. The two young warriors will fight for the right to challenge Alvarado. Who will prevail?
ARANETA TEAM SHARES FEELINGS
“We will be flying on September 1 at 2 AM in the early morning,” says Araneta’s manager Pio Paulo Castillo, president of the Omega Boxing Gym.
“We travel to Monterrey Mexico. Our team is formed of head coach Julius Erving Junco and me (Pio Paulo Castillo) as Araneta’s manager.
“As of today (August 31), Araneta is already only 5 pounds over the limit of the light flyweight division. Everything about weight is going as planned. No problems with weight so far. We are expecting to make weight no problems,” promises Castillo, an experienced young manager who trains in boxing in his spare time.
Six years ago, Pio Paulo Castillo took his boxer at the time Johnriel Casimero (current WBO interim champion), to a win by points in Panama.
Casimero easily retained his title his Panama fight and Castillo learned from the experience of taking a boxer to a world class battle in Latin America.
Araneta counts on Castillo’s experience as a manager.
“I have done this (taking a fighter to a world class fight in Latin America) before, assures the Omega Boxing Gym president.
“I know what it feels like to take a boxer to compete in international level. But in this one we are the underdog.” confides Castillo.
“But I am not worried. I am confident.
“I feel confident because of our Omega team’s excellent preparation.
“Yes, that is most important. I am confident with the way Christian (Araneta) has trained to fight the Mexican Daniel Valladares.
“We won’t be competing in our own backyard. That is never easy to go from here (in the Philippines) to Mexico; and we know we are the underdogs.
“That is why we are aiming for an impressive performance to make sure we get the win,” saying Pio Paulo Castillo, who is also a young business executive at IPI Pharmaceuticals.
Should Christian Araneta win his Mexico fight as his Omega Teammates and Filipino boxing and Filipino boxing fans hope, he would most likely be challenging champion Felix Alvarado for the IBF World Title by the end of this year.
Photos courtesy of Omega Boxing Gym
The author Carlos Costa is a Panama boxing reporter living permanent in the Philippines. Carlos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and whatsapp/viber/messenger: 09184538152.