NEGOTIATIONS for a historic all-Filipino world championship fight, which hasn’t happened in 92 years, are underway.
The handlers of International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas and mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan have started initial talks on the fight details and have both agreed on staging the fight in the US in either April or June.
“Yes, we have started negotiations already with matchmaker Sean Gibbons and Top Rank,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told SunStar Cebu. “What we all agreed is to do the fight in the US. I believe, too, it should be in the US. It will be a historical fight so it’s best to stage it in the ‘boxing mecca’ of the world. It will show that the Filipinos are at par with the best boxing countries. The months that we are looking at are April and June.”
The 25-year-old Ancajas has just successfully defended his IBF strap with a rousing 10th round technical knockout of Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez in his US debut this month at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was his fourth title defense since winning the belt 2016 with a unanimous decision victory over McJoe Arroyo in Taguig City.
A lot have regarded the 26-year-old Ancajas as the next big thing in Philippine boxing since eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao.
Sultan, on the other hand, was relative unknown until he scored a second round stoppage upset of Makazole Tete for the IBF Inter-Continental super flyweight crown in South Africa in 2016. He followed it up with an impressive eighth round knockout of tough former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro. He finally earned mandatory status after a shocking unanimous decision win over two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero last Sept. 16 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.
Ancajas is 29-1-1 with 20 knockouts, while Sultan is 14-3 with nine knockouts.
“I personally was not open to it before since we are all Filipinos and the last time a Filipino fought a Filipino for a world title was in 1925, about 92 years ago,” said Aldeguer.
“But on the other hand, if you look at the bigger picture, it could also put a stamp that the Philippines is a boxing powerhouse with all the Filipino fighters fighting on a world stage, just like the Mexicans who fight each other all the time.”
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on February 14, 2018.
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