Jay-R Raquinel Challenges KJ Cataraja for OPBF Superfly Belt Nov 11 in Japan! (Long Analysis + Fans Comments)
By Carlos Costa
Wed, 13 Sep 2023
Raquinel and Cataraja, the two very best super flyweights from the Land of LapuLapu are in collision course.
Absolutely the two awesome prospects - both gifted with absolute power in their fists - are set to battle each other.
But the rumble will not happen in Pinoyland.
The two exciting world-ranked Filipino will thrill, fight and shine in the Land of the Rising Sun!
Coming from a knockout win last June in Pakistan, "The Dreamer" Jay-R Raquinel (15-2-1, 12 KO's) from Cauayan in Negros Occidental, will clash against fellow Visayan warrior, former ALA rising-star Kevin Jake "KJ" Cataraja (16-0, 13 KO's) from the Queen City of the South, Cebu.
They will wage war for KJ's OPBF super flyweight belt, and what an exciting fight it will be!
Their hot 12-rounder clash will unfold on Saturday, November 11, in the big coastal city of Nagoya, one of the largest and most populated cities in Japan.
The rumble is 90% done, with still some aspects being worked out and subject to final approval from authorities.
However, it seems that getting the OK for this thriller might not be a problem due to the superb quality of both fighters.
Ecstatic Jay-R Raquinel and coach Allan Alegria celebrate another Raquinel Win.
JAY-R RAQUINEL, “THE DREAMER”
Currently world-ranked as WBC #7, IBF #13 and WBO #12, the 26-year-old "Dreamer" has been winning and hoping to get in the ring against fellow southpaw, Japanese WBO 115 lbs world champion Junto Nakatani, but that fight hasn't happened, as Jay-R has been wanting.
Instead of picking him, Nakatani will be defending his belt on Monday against Mexican Argi Cortes, a battle most fans think will be won by the hard-hitting 25-year-old champion from Kanagawa.
Therefore, if Raquinel really wants Nakatani, he needs to impressively beat Cataraja in Japan.
Could he do it?
Not an easy mission. Raquinel will be facing arguably the most dangerous opponent that he has ever battled: KJ Cataraja, the most skilled and the one with more TNT in his blows. What will happen?
Interestingly, Jay-R Raquinel has battled in other countries, scoring exciting wins in lands as far away as Pakistan, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.
And that’s not it. Because "The Dreamer" has also fought in China; and claimed two consecutive KO wins in Japan (feeling that he can get a third nod there).
It is commendable what Jay-R has done this far. But he wants to scalp more.
"The Dreamer" is making his dreams come true. He can be proud of how he has been doing, impressively pressing forward his boxing career.
KJ CATARAJA: UNBEATEN, SKILLED, POWER-HITTER
The undefeated 28-year-old KJ Cataraja - a graduate in Criminology from the University of the Cebu - wants to win this one more than any other fight before.
Likely that’s because winning this one in Japan would put him closer than ever to a world title shot.
However, unlike “The Dreamer,” KJ HAS never fought outside the country of Jose Rizal.
Would that be a problem?
Would that be major factor when facing an opponent as good as Raquinel in Japan? Maybe yes, maybe no.
KJ has seen action all over Pinoyland, from Bacolod to Bohol to Gensan to Sugbu to Tabuelan, but never in other countries, as Raquinel has.
For you, is this is a very important factor regarding mental preparation and confidence?
Is that so important to have a win in a foreign land in your record, or not really?
The latest win for the KJ Cataraja. - a former WBO Youth Champion, - was last February when he bested "El Heneral" Edward Heno (15-3-6, 5 KO's) to claim the vacant OPBF 115-pound strap.
A former amateur standout, KJ is a warrior who has been trained by none other than former ALA head coach Edito Villamor.
Nevertheless, always ready and strong, both mentally and physically, KJ Cataraja plans to do whatever is necessary to keep not only his coveted WBC OPBF super flyweight belt with him, but make himself known in Japan.
Furthermore, wants to improve his standing in the world-rankings, inching closer to a world title fight in the super flyweights, the division in which he is so good at.
The author Carlos Costa (L) with then ALA Coach Edito Villamor and promising unbeaten KJ Cataraja in 2018 in Cebu.
The skilled KJ Cararaja - who was a cherished protegé of beloved boxing patron Don Antonio Aldeguer - is currently WBA #9, IBF #12 and WBO #8.
That is really fantastic, and those numbers will surely be going to IMPROVE should he get to beat "The Dreamer."
Will that happen?
ONE BESIDES THE OTHER:
"The Dreamer" Raquinel, a talented southpaw, has been a pro fighter for over 9 years.
In contrast, KJ fights as an orthodox fighter, being a pro boxer for 8 years.
Before becoming pro, KJ competed in amateur tournaments for over 5 years.
Both, Raquinel and Cataraja are experienced prospects with excellent skills.
They both stand at a height of 5′5″, both in the young and with dreams of glory, both wanting SO MUCH TO WIN!
Questions immediately popped up in boxing fans‘ minds in Lapu Lapu Land:
Who of the two will win, who is best one; and: is it really such a good idea to put Raquinel and Cataraja to fight each other instead of them going after other opponents????
Jay R Raquinel vs KJ Catarajain in Japan for the OPBF Super Flyweight Title is a hot production of Koki Kameda Promotions.
THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL
THE triumphant one will not only get high in the world rankings of all four major sanctioning bodies, but also gets home the OPBF belt.
He also becomes known by boxing fans in Japan, inching him closer to a possible world title fight in Japan.
Because it is in Japan where two of the VERY best super flyweight champions in the planet live and fight:
They are WBO unbeaten 115?king Junto Nakatani (25-0, 19 KO's), and WBA legend 115 champ Kazuto Ioka (30-2-1, 15 KO's).
See how crucial is fight is?
Managed by Akihiko Honda, Junto Nakatani defends his world title this coming Monday against Mexican Argie Cortes (25-3-2, 10 KO's).
Nakatani has said that what he wants is to fight Mexican veteran WBC World Champion Juan Francisco "El Gallo" Estrada (44-3, 28 KO's). That is great. But Ioka wants "El Gallo" too.
If that unification battle against Estrada does not happen, who might Nakatani want to fight next?
It should be against an active world rank fighter, someone with a name that rings a bell: someone like the winner of Raquinel vs Cataraja?
There are also reports of negotiations for Kazuto Ioka and Juan Francisco "El Gallo" Estrada to fight in a WBA/WBC super flyweight unification battle on New Year's Eve in Japan. As fans know, Kazuto Ioka likes to fight on New Year's Eve.
But if that negotiation do not succeed, then Ioka and Nakatani would need a challenger..
Absolutely, that is why Raquinel vs Cataraja is so important, so vital so crucial! I can see why Raquinel vs Cataraja is happening.
Really, for these two young Pinoy fighters this one is a must-must win war.
But who will the winner be?
As soon as I posted news about Raquinel vs Cataraja in my social media today, of course, fans gave their comment and opinions.
Here are some comments that I copy and paste to share with you:
Sheesh, parehong malakas. Subok nga Lang si Jay-R Raquinel sa mga dayuhan, see if you agree with any of them:
Ronald Bellas Francisco
Big challenge sa aton kasiman. Good luck sa laban idol.... tani ma dala mo ang belt sa Cauayan.
Eduardo Mercado Comabras Jr.:
"Parehong magaling..magndang laban toh..."
"Sila gd gali nong balbalanay ba kapwa pinoy pa"
"Both are Phils top prospects. Why fight each other when it could have been better to bid to Japan for a bigger purse? But don't get me wrong, I just wanted a bigger payday for our fighters."
Lawrence Dizon Villalon:
"Hard to guess who wins."
"Parehong patay gutom, ang mananalo maghahabol ng title shot kay Nakatani o Ioka"
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10
God bless, God is always with your side Just BELIEVE 🙏
"Kung sa akin lang ayaw ko mag laban ang dalawa si Kj tagal kunang kaibigan,si Raquinel taga sakin sa Candoni, Negros Occidental."
Perez Kainayawan Clark:
"Both of them are my idols ♥️"
Isabelo Agreda Pigar:
"Both are quality boxers. Raquinel is quite the one with advantage. But, Cataraja has improved his stamina. That could be a 50/50 fight."
Reycz Restauro Labajo:
"Jay-R Raquinel the best"
"Dalawang pinoy sa Japan?"
"Napaka Gandang match up to"
Gandang laban to hahahaha puro Pinoy
Thats it, what do you think? May the Best Man Win!
The author, 62-year-old senior boxing writer Carlos Costa of Panama. Carlos has lived here in Asia since 1991. He is passionate about boxing since accompanying his grandfather to watch Roberto Duran defend against Hector Thompson in Panama in 1973. Carlos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and whatsapp +639184538152.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Carlos Costa.
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