Wednesday, March 22, 2023  |


Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan title fight rescheduled for May 26 in Las Vegas

Junior bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas flexes with his IBF belt on his right, and adviser Sean Gibbons on his left. Photo by Jhay Oh Otamias

The all-Filipino world title fight between Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan finally has a date of its own and will now take place May 26 in Las Vegas, Ancajas’ matchmaker Sean Gibbons told THE RING. The date was confirmed by Sultan’s promoter Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions.

The mandatory defense, Ancajas’ fifth of the IBF junior bantamweight title, had previously been the co-featured bout to the Jeff Horn-Terence Crawford fight which was set for April 14, but postponed due to an injury to Crawford’s hand. Instead of migrating to the new Horn-Crawford date on June 9, Ancajas and Sultan will be headlining on ESPN.

“Jerwin is like Manny [Pacquiao] and Elvis Presley before him … taking Vegas by storm,” said Gibbons, who says The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is being considered as a possible venue. “If you want to be someone in boxing, all the champions fight in Vegas.”

Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 knockouts) last fought in February, stopping Israel Gonzalez in ten rounds in his American debut. Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) earned his shot at the title last September, defeating Johnriel Casimero in a final eliminator. Their match will be the first world title fight between two Filipinos since 1925, when Pancho Villa defended his belt against Clever Sencio.

Joven Jimenez, the trainer and manager of Ancajas, said they had adjusted Ancajas’ training pace and weren’t bothered by the date change, pointing out that Ancajas’ title-winning fight against McJoe Arroyo had been postponed several times before they finally stepped in the ring.

“That’s part of [the] boxing life. Always expect that situation,” said Jimenez.

Gibbons says the plan as of now is to have Ancajas fight two more times afterwards in 2018, in September and December. All of that is contingent upon how Ancajas does against his mandatory challenger, however.