IBF orders Nontshinga to rematch Araneta


Though Eddie Hearn dreams of pitting IBF light flyweight champion Sivenathi Nontshinga against former flyweight champion Sunny Edwards, “The Special One” has a mandatory defense to deal with first. Jake Donovan reports that the IBF have given Nontshinga until April 4th to negotiate a rematch with top contender Christian Araneta.

Nontshinga’s (13-1, 10 KO) and Araneta’s (24-2, 19 KO) first meeting in 2021 saw Nontshinga survive a 12th-round knockdown to narrowly scrape out a unanimous decision. Araneta has since scored four knockouts in five wins, the most notable of them a 110-second wipeout of fellow Filipino Arvin Magramo this past January.

All signs point to another banger here. Nontshinga’s mix of skill, destructiveness, and vulnerability make him must-watch TV, as seen in last month’s comeback knockout of former conqueror Adrien Curiel in hostile territory.

With this development, my guess is that fellow titlists Kenshiro Teraji and Jonathan “Bomba” Gonzalez will once again attempt to put a unification fight together after their recent victories. If organizers can get the timing right, the winner of that and the winner of this should be ready to battle for undisputed glory once the dust settles.

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