Road warrior Jonas Sultan to face ex-champ Jaro at home
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino fight fans will get a better idea of just how much potential Jonas Sultan has when he faces former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro in a 12-round junior bantamweight fight at Makati Cinema Square in Makati City, Philippines on March 19.
Sultan (12-3, 8 knockouts) from Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines, is riding high after three straight knockout wins in 2016, two of which came on the road.
In his last fight, Sultan knocked out world-rated fighter Makazole Tete in South Africa in two rounds, and nine months earlier had knocked out Tatuya Ikemizu in Japan, also in two rounds.
Jaro, who is nine years older at 34, rose to prominence in 2012 by knocking out Thai legend Pongsaklek Wonjongkam to win the RING and WBC flyweight titles, and has won his last nine fights against less-celebrated competition. Jaro (43-13-5, 30 KOs) returned from a year out of the ring last November to decision Marjun Pantilgan at the same venue where he’ll fight next.
“I already have my plan to beat him because I know he’s a knockout fighter,” said Sultan. “I always make a good plan for our fight.”
Jaro declined to offer much of a response, saying, “You’ll see in the fight.”
Edito Villamor, who trains Sultan out of the ALA Gym in Cebu City, says Jaro is still a dangerous foe for Sultan “because Jaro is a more experienced fighter than Sultan.
“But Sultan trains hard for this fight. After he won the belt from Makazole Tete he rested for two weeks, then he’s back on training.”
Jaro is rated the No. 14 contender by the WBC while Sultan is rated No. 14 by the IBF.
The 10-round co-featured bout also figures to be competitive as Filipino mainstays Richard Pumicpic (18-8-2, 6 KOs) and another ALA fighter, Roli Gasca (23-7-1, 7 KOs), try to get back into the win column after sustaining defeats in their most recent fights.
Pumicpic is coming off a stint working as a sparring partner for RING/WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka before his March 2 title defense against Carlos Carlson.
The show will be promoted by Anson Tiu Co’s Shape Up Boxing Promotions with admission free to the public.
Inson heads to South Africa
Undefeated Filipino welterweight Jayar Inson will head to South Africa for his next fight to face unbeaten local Thulani Mbenge on May 23 at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.
Inson (13-0, 9 knockouts), a lanky 5-foot-10 southpaw with a powerful left cross, is coming off a seventh-round knockout of Ryota Yada last December in Japan to win the WBO’s regional Asia Pacific belt. Inson had scored knockdowns in Rounds 2 and 7 that weren’t counted by the referee before the final two finished the job.
He’ll face Mbenge (9-0, 9 KOs), who must first get past an assignment against South African welterweight champ Shaun Ness (10-1-2, 5 KOs) on April 23 at the same venue, promoter Rodney Berman told RingTV.
The Inson-Mbenge fight will take place on the same card as Simphiwe Khonco against Filipino Melvin Jerusalem, with former titleholder Hekkie Budler also expected to be in action.
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.