Still no big-name bout for Ancajas

By: Marc Anthony Reyes - Philippine Daily Inquirer | October 17,2021 - 10:31 AM
Jerwin Ancajas IBF super flyweight

Filipino boxer Jerwin Ancajas. AFP FILE PHOTO

World boxing champion Jerwin Ancajas has been on a long wait for a career-turning fight. He will have to bide his time some more.

The strong, stylish prizefighter from Panabo City in Davao del Norte, who hasn’t fought in the last six months, still won’t get the big three names in his division, according to his promoter Sean Gibbons of MP Promotions.

Instead, Gibbons made the rounds in the media saying the fight between the 29-year-old Ancajas and Japanese Kazuto Ioka is in the works for a December date possibly in Japan. Ioka called out Ancajas after his Sept. 1 unanimous decision win over Mexican Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in Japan.

The Filipino champ has a 33-1-2 record with 22 knockouts, while the Japanese sports a 27-2-0 card with 15 stoppages.

But while they are fighting for a unification title in the 115-pound division—Ancajas being the International Boxing Federation (IBF) champ and Ioka World Boxing Organization (WBO)—it wasn’t still the “signature fight” Gibbons promised the soft-spoken Ancajas.

Ancajas has been aching to fight A-listers like World Boxing Association and World Boxing Council champ Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales of Nicaragua.

A fight with one of them will raise the profile of Ancajas, who has been eclipsed by fellow Filipino world champ John Riel Casimero, the brash, outspoken WBO bantamweight champion also being handled by Gibbons.

Before his nearly six-month lull, Ancajas went through almost a year and a half before springing to action and beating Jonathan Javier Rodriguez on April 10 in Connecticut.

Ancajas has held the IBF crown for five years, but hasn’t fought a significant opponent in that span. His manager, Joven Jimenez, had said they are ready at a moment’s notice when a big fight arrives.

With a wide 5-foot-5 frame, Jimenez said Ancajas could even jump to bantamweight. But that would be the territory of compatriots Casimero and Nonito Donaire Jr., as well as the division’s main man Naoya Inoue of Japan.

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