After an injury late in 2019, former ONE Strawweight World Title challenger Rene “The Challenger” Catalan is almost ready to return to the ONE Circle.
Catalan injured his foot in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games Sambo competition but is nearly 100 percent recovered. He plans to hit the ground running as soon as he is cleared to train.
“Since I am dismayed with what happened [to] Jomary, I am even more motivated to get back to training and not let this one happen to me,” Catalan said, referring to Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres’ no-contest result at ONE: FIRE & FURY on 31 January.
“As soon as I heal my foot, maybe next week, I’m back in training. I am hoping for a return maybe in April or even March.”
It was a dream run to World Title contention for “The Challenger.” He racked up six-consecutive wins before being stopped in his tracks by reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio in November 2019.
But the Iloilo City native understands things are different.
Now 41, the process of recovery and preparation takes a little bit longer.
“I think the difference now is I need a full training camp now. I know I am getting older. I am willing to take on anyone but I need a full camp,” Catalan said.
“In the Pacio fight I think I got six weeks to prepare and that wasn’t really enough. I wasn’t able to finish all the programs that we’ve set, so I believe it has to be longer.
“A month and a half wouldn’t work unless you’re young and you’ve been training continuously.
“I am a bit older and then I have to manage being a coach, attending to the needs of the athletes, managing the rents and payables of our gym, so imagine having little preparation while going through all of that.
”But if given the right amount of time to prepare, Catalan is willing to face anyone.
“Hopefully this time I come in more prepared, whoever it is, I am confident in taking them on. I really want to get back to winning ways.”
In the meantime, ONE Championship returns to The Lion City for ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE on 28 February at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario returns to the division he once dominated when he battles Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai.
Catch all the action for free on ONE’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube accounts, or the ONE Super App.
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