Sive Nontshinga was pleasantly surprised when he came face-to face with his Filipino opponent Christian Araneta at the pre-medical examination on Wednesday at Boardwalk Casino in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), South Africa ahead of their Saturday clash.
The two boxers met for the first time when they underwent a medical check up to determine their readiness for their IBF world junior flyweight title eliminator in three days time.
Contrary to what he had seen on video, Nontshinga (9-0, 9 KOs) discovered that the Filipino is much shorter than he is.
“I thought he was as tall as Sive but he is shorter than him,” said Nontshinga’s trainer and father Thembeni Gopheni.
“When Sive saw how short he is I could see his eyes sparkling because he knows it is advantage to us.”
Nontshinga, 22, has been predicting a short route win over the once-beaten Filipino who is three years older.
And the realization that he will enjoy a significant wingspan will make his prediction close to fulfilment.
Gopheni admitted that the camp was a heaving a tough time toning down his son’s confidence ahead of the fight.
“You know Sive is such a confident boy so we have been reminding him that the fight has not been won yet.
“The key now is mental strength and I can tell you Sive now understands that one mistake can change everything.”
Araneta (20-1, 15 KOs) arrived in South Africa with his trainer Julius Junco and promoter Jerome Calatrava two weeks ago to quarantine for the Covid 19 virus.
The Filipino southpaw said he was ready for the fight despite fighting for the first time in SA.
“We are 100% ready and I think this is going to be a terrific fight which will likely not see the distance, said Calatrava.
The winner will get a mandatory title shot at Felix Alvarado who stopped Nontshinga’s compatriot Dee Jay Kriel in 10 rounds in his last defense in Dalas, Texas in January this year.