(Sports) New ALA fighters to make waves in Pinoy Pride 35 on Feb. 27

February 22, 2016 11:09 am 

CEBU CITY, Feb. 21 — Though the spotlight is on Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo, the prospects who will also be featured in Pinoy Pride 35 — “Stars of the Future” on Feb. 27 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City — are out to make some waves.

Leading the charge of ALA Gym’s new generation of boxers is former amateur standout Kevin Jake Cataraja.

The 20-year-old Cataraja faces what could be his stiffest test so far in Mexican Tony Rodriguez in an eight-rounder.

“I won’t take any chances. I need to show an impressive fight to open up good opportunities, especially an event this April,” said Cataraja, who is coming off a fourth round stoppage win over tough Faris Nenggo.

With just two fights under his belt, Cataraja has so far been impressive.

“If I see a chance, I’ll knock him out. That is my target,” said Cataraja.

“But I won’t rush it. I didn’t expect that I would knock out Faris because he was tough. I’ll just feel him out first because I don’t know his game plan. We’ll see who lands first,” Cataraja said.

Though he only has four fights, Rodriguez has some good wins over more experienced opponents than him in Junior Granados (12-2-1) and Luis Castro (7-0-2).

He also fought former interim World Boxing Association (WBA) light-flyweight champion Jose Alfredo Rodriguez but lost by a second round knockout in his pro debut.

Cataraja is 2-0 with two knockouts, while Rodriguez is 3-1 with a knockout.

Also some ALA Gym’s fast-rising prospects who’ll be seeing action in the show are unbeaten Melvin Jerusalem, Geo Santisima and Elmo Traya.

The 22-year-old Jerusalem (8-0, 7 KOs) slugs it out with former International Boxing Federation (IBF) mini-flyweight champion Florante Condes (27-9, 23 KOs).

“This is my hardest fight. But I want to be like them (Pagara and Magsayo) and be a champion,” said Jerusalem.

Santisima (8-2, 7 KOs) also faces an acid test in experienced Marco Demecillo (21-4-1, 16 KOs).

“I’m not intimidated at all. I like this type of opponent because it fits my style,” said the 19-year-old Santisima.

Traya (10-1, 8 KOs), 20, is also up against a crafty veteran in Romeo Jackosalem (16-11, 8 KOs). (PNA)



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