JONAS Sultan’s preparation for his world title challenge against International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is going to be done a little bit differently from his usual routine.
Instead of his regular sparring partners at the ALA Gym, Sultan has two young Japanese fighters as his main spar-mates.
ALA Gym head coach Edito Villamor feels that this tweak in training camp could prove vital to Sultan for the biggest fight of his career.
“This will help him build up his self-confidence and will help him mentally,” Villamor told SunStar Cebu. “They have been training here at the ALA Gym and incidentally, Jonas has an upcoming fight. So we just used them as sparring partners so that they’ll be sparring all out.”
One of Sultan’s Japanese sparring partners is 21-year-old Tenta Kiyose, the current World Boxing Council (WBC) Youth super bantamweight champion. He recently won the belt with a unanimous decision over Filipino Joe Tejones and has a respectable 14-2-1 record with six knockouts. The other Japanese sparmate is 18-year-old Musashi Mori, who’s 5-0 with four knockouts.
“They are a huge help because some boxers hire sparring partners to put them out of their comfort zone. This is it,” said Villamor.
Sultan is tentatively scheduled to face Ancajas on April 14 in one of the featured bouts in the Jeff Horn vs. Terence Crawford event at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
“Yes, Sultan is ready. He has been training for quite some time already because we informed him that after the Feb. 3 fight of Ancajas that he would be next in line,” said Villamor.
Ancajas successfully defended his IBF strap with a 10th round stoppage of Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez last Feb. 3 in his US debut at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Sultan, on the other hand, earned mandatory status after a unanimous decision upset of two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero last Sept. 16 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City in one of the biggest all-Filipino bouts in recent years.
“We are focusing on Jerwin’s weaknesses. Sultan can do anything that you want him to do,” said Villamor.
The Ancajas vs. Sultan fight is the first time in 93 years that two Filipinos are fighting against each other for a world title. The last time two Filipinos fought in a world title fight was in 1925. (EKA)