FRESNO, California – The timing is right for Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan, now that the legendary career of the great Manny Pacquiao is almost coming to a close, according to Michael Aldeguer.
The ALA Promotions boss said the Ancajas-Sultan championship showdown couldn’t have come at a better time especially with the 39-year-old Pacquiao possibly hanging up his gloves in a year or two.
Sultan, 26, is one of the rising stars out of the Cebu-based ALA boxing stable.
“I think this is the right time. The timing has never been better with Manny in his twilight years,” said Aldeguer on Wednesday (Thursday, Manila time) as he graced the media workout at the Heartbeat boxing gym that kicked off fight week schedule for Saturday’s exciting fight card.
“The country has arrived to show the world that Filipinos are here to stay.”
Aldeguer couldn’t be more proud being part of this historic fight pitting the first all-Filipino world title match since the late Pancho Villa outpointed Clever Sencio for the world flyweight crown in 1925 held in Manila.
And to think a few months ago no one thought the fight could be made.
“I know it was something we felt couldn’t happen because Filipino versus Filipino is like a taboo in our country,” admitted the CEO and president of ALA Promotions. “And now it’s here. It’s the biggest fight, it’s a historical fight, and we’re very happy to be a part of this.”
Aldeguer hopes the Ancajas-Sultan duel will pave the way for more Filipinos going up against each other in future title fights. He cited the case of Mexico as prime example of a country where its boxers constantly face each other in world championship bouts.
“I think this is where Mexico was before, when you had the Barrera and Morales triology. And they said that after Julio Cesar Sr. what would happen? But they had a lot of great champions from Mexico that came after,” the son of Cebu boxing impresario Antonio L. Aldeguer stressed.
“I think the Philippines has arrived and we're there right now. I think we have to embrace this,” added Aldeguer. “I am very elated that finally the world has seen what we're made of, and have to be thankful for Manny (Pacquiao) for opening the door (for us).
Aldeguer watched as the 26-year-old Sultan, facing the biggest challenge yet of his five-year pro career, danced around inside the ring and did two rounds on the mitts with Edmund Villamor, while head trainer Edito Villamor was giving out instruction at ringside.
“He’s very determined and he has fought two world champions. He’s also been tested abroad so it’s gonna be interesting,” he said of Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) from Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Aldeguer describes Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) as ‘very skillfull,’ adding, “He’s done a lot in the past years and he’s shown so much improvement in what he has done.”
“I would feel that it’s going to be who wants it more. It’s a contrasting style,” he said. I think this is where it’s going to go. It’s going to be a chess game.”