Saturday, December 09, 2023  |


Jerwin Ancajas wants Srisaket Sor Rungvisai unification fight in early 2019

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
Fighters Network

Jerwin Ancajas will return to the ring on September 28 in Oakland, California, to defend his IBF junior bantamweight title. He will be featured once again on ESPN as a part of his exclusive contract with Top Rank, which has an exclusive deal with the sports network.

Last year, Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 knockouts) signed the three-fight contract with an extension of three additional fights that hinges on good performance. After a tough defense against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan in his first ESPN appearance, Ancajas will make title defense number six against Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-4, 7 KOs), whom he is widely expected to roll over. “Pretty Boy,” as he’s colloquially known, will be looking for his signature win in the third fight of his ESPN deal, and he already has his sights set on one fighter in particular.

Sor Rungvisai with his WBC and RING Magazine 115-pound titles. Photo / Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / 360 Promotions

One week after Ancajas heads back to work, Ring/WBC junior bantamweight champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai also returns to action in his native Thailand. The veteran southpaw banger will take on Mexican challenger Iran Diaz. Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 41 KOs) is currently  ranked No. 7 on The Ring magazine’s pound-for-pound list, highlighting his prowess.

Both Ancajas and Rungvisai will be looking for bigger fish to fry come early next year, after they’ve had time to rest following their stay-busy bouts. Pitting two of Asia’s most entertaining and up-and-coming boxing stars against one another for a title unification would create waves of excitement across not only the continent encompassing their respective countries but also the global boxing community. This one seems like a no-brainer to make.

Lucky for us, the ambitious Ancajas agrees wholeheartedly. His adviser, Sean Gibbons, passed along his sentiments to The Ring:

“When you are recognized as a champion, you want to fight the other champions in your division. Also, to be the best you need to beat the best, and Rungvisai is the best at 115 pounds. Jerwin feels he has the style to beat Sor Rungvisai. Jerwin wants to make a statement like Senator Manny Pacquiao before him and wants a signature fight, and this is that fight.”

For their part, Bank Thainchai Pisitwuttinan, a prominent member of Team Rungvisai, had this to say:

“Srisaket is now very focused on Iran Diaz. He thinks that Iran Diaz is a great challenger, and he is not going to take Diaz lightly. All the energy and focus of Srisaket and the whole team is on his world title defense on October 6 now.”

Should the potential fight be made next, it would have to air on ESPN, as Ancajas has the above-mentioned promotional obligations tied to the network. Sor Rungvisai has been featured three times on HBO and will be heavily courted by them and promoter Tom Loeffler; both will be interested in making another “SuperFly” installment for the network, probably in February 2019.

In regard to this matchup, specifically, there isn’t any official network impediment, although the competition will be high on who can score Rungvisai. With loads of the division’s richest talents being featured on Saturday’s HBO-televised SuperFly3 card, they’ll have more bargaining power come mid-October when the camps begin to hash out plans for 2019.

Securing this amount of talent, however, comes with a price — and one that will be higher next year. Concerns could focus on the unknown HBO budget that has been steadily reduced over the years, while ESPN is investing more heavily in the sweet science.


Contact Nick Skok @NoSparring on Twitter.