By Nick Giongo
The first all-Filipino world title fight in almost a century – the fifth defense of International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas versus mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan – takes place on April 14 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said on Monday morning.
“I am very excited with Jerwin because everywhere I go (here in the US), Filipinos always ask me about him,” Arum told the Bulletin from his Las Vegas home.
Arum said Ancajas, coming off a rousing stoppage of Israel Gonzalez of Mexico last month in Corpus Christi, Texas, has all the traits needed to become a big star on American soil.
If successful against Sultan, the pride and joy of ALA Boxing Club of Cebu, Ancajas will likely return to the ring in August and in November as Arum has grand plans for the Philippines’ newest ring hero.
“He likes to fight and if that’s what he wants, we will give him the chance to fight as much as four times this year,” said Arum, noting that sports channel ESPN and Top Rank have a rock-solid relationship to broadcast fights all-year long.
The southpaw Ancajas (29-1-1 with 20 KOs) has been in training mode the last few weeks in Magallanes, Cavite.
Sultan (14-3 with nine KOs), also 26 like Ancajas, is likewise neck-deep in preparation for his first shot at the world title after earbing his crack following an upset win over ex-world champion John Riel Casimero last year.