IT’S the reality of boxing anyone has to face.
Although a bit unhappy, Jerwin Ancajas will still welcome a possible fight with fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan as he stakes his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight title this summer.
Sultan, alias Zorro, earned the right to face Ancajas as a mandatory challenger after pulling off an upset against two-time world champion Johnriel Casimero in their title eliminator fight last September in Cebu City. The 26-year-old Sultan, fighting out of the ALA boxing stable, outpointed Casimero in 12 rounds.
While it may look awkward pitting two Filipinos for a world title, Ancajas said they actually can’t do anything but to abide by the rules of the IBF.
“Malungkot din na makalaban mo sir 'yung kapwa Pinoy mo,” he said. “Pero kung anuman 'yung desisyon nila, ok lang po.”
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer already expressed apprehensions about pushing through with the bout, possibly this April or May, saying it won't do the country any good if two Filipino fighters fought for a world title.
Ancajas, 25, has the same sentiment, but is willing to put up with whatever move the IBF will take.
“Kasi kung halimbawa sila (Sultan) rin yung champion, tapos kami naman yung mandatory, siyempre lalaban din sila. So okay lang naman sir,” said the pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte.
“Tsaka naiintindihan naman natin na nangangarap din si Sultan na mag-world champion.”
Of course, all of these won’t happen until Ancajas (28-1, with 19 KOs) gets to retain his title on February 3 against Israel Gonzales at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
So the first order of the day is to beat his relatively unknown Mexican opponent (21-1 with 8KOs) in his first ever US fight.
“Tuluy-tuloy po ang ensayo kahit nitong holidays,” said the soft-spoken champion, who is coming off a sixth round stoppage of previously unbeaten Jamie Conlan in their November title fight in Belfast, Ireland.
Ancajas, trainer and manager Joven Jimenez, and the rest of his entourage will leave for the US on January 25.