IBF Orders Sivenathi Nonthshinga to Defend Title Against Christian Araneta

The IBF has ordered South Africa’s Sivenathi Nontshinga (13-1, 10 KOs) to defend his light flyweight world title in a rematch against his mandatory challenger, Christian Araneta (24-2, 19 KOs), of the Philippines.

Nontshinga recaptured the IBF world title on Feb. 16 in an immediate rematch with Adrian Curiel (24-5-1, 5KOs) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Last November, Curiel produced a shocking second-round knockout of Nontshinga at the Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco, when a long right hand dropped Nontshinga and Curiel was crowned IBF world champion in one of boxing’s most significant upsets of the year.

Matchroom and Nontshinga activated a rematch clause in Curiel’s bout agreement to obligate the South African to a rematch. Curiel would fall in a 10th-round stoppage defeat in an entertaining second encounter with Nontshinga.

An official notice from the IBF states that representatives of Nonsthinga and Araneta have a deadline of April 4 to negotiate and conclude an agreement for the mandated contest. Otherwise, purse bids will be called following the expiration of the negotiating deadline.

In an official letter obtained by The Ring, IBF Championship Committee chairman Carlos Ortiz informed both parties that Nontshinga’s mandatory defense is due on or before May 4, and identified Araneta as the No. 1 available contender.

“Negotiations should commence immediately and be concluded by April 4, 2024,” wrote Ortiz. “If you are unable to come to an agreement for this bout within 30 days, the IBF will call for a purse bid.”

Nonthsinga and Araneta are no strangers to one another, having previously contested an IBF light flyweight final eliminator in April 2021, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Araneta dropped a narrow unanimous decision to Nontshinga, despite flooring the hometown favorite in the 12th round.

Araneta has won five consecutive fights, with four coming inside the distance, since his loss to Nontshinga in April 2021.

Araneta secured his position as the IBF mandatory challenger within the 108-pound ratings with a first-round knockout victory over countryman Arvin Magramo (17-2-1, 11 KOs) in January, at the NUSTAR Resort and Casino, Cebu City, in the Philippines.