FRESNO, California — Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan did their share as both easily made weight and clear the path for their historic world title fight set on Saturday at the Save Mart Center (Sunday, Manila time).
Ancajas, the reigning International Boxing Federation super-flyweight champion, came in at 114.8 lbs during Friday's official weigh-in at the Tioga Sequioa Brewing Company.
Sultan, the 26-year-old challenger, tipped the scale at 114.4 lbs.
The main event of Top Rank Promotions' weekend fight card marks the first Filipino versus Filipino bout with a world title at stake since the late Pancho Villa beat Clever Sencio for the flyweight crown in 1925.
As a champion, Ancajas said he always makes sure he doesn’t go over the weight limit in every fight.
“Yun talaga ang pino focus ko, yung sa timbangan kasi ayoko talaga yung dumating ang pagkakataon na yun ang makasira sa iyo,” said the fighter they called ‘Pretty Boy,’ who admitted he has never gone overweight since turning pro.
It helped too, the decision of Ancajas’ camp to hire a registered nutritionist and dietitian in Loveleah Uli-basang, who, like the champion, also hails from Panabo, Davao del Norte.
“Talagang nakatulong yun. Kasi kahit nagre-reduce ako, nakakakain pa ako,” said Ancajas, who disclosed he was close to two pounds over the super-flyweight limit on the morning of the weigh-in.
“Kagabi nakakain pa nga ako e. Kaya malaking tulong talaga yung dietician,” added the champion.
Trainer Jover Jimenez said he plans to have his fighter climb the ring at 128 pounds.
Meanwhile, Nick Curson, the strength and conditioning coach of Sultan, described the challenger to be in perfect condition shortly after the weigh-in.
“It’s now or never (for him),” he said of Sultan, vying to become the latest fighter to win a world championship out of the ALA boxing stable.
But Curson gives the Zamboanga del Norte native a 50-50 chance of scoring an upset against Ancajas, who won his first four title defenses before Sultan.
Sultan had a good meal of rice, beef soup, egg and fruits after making the weight.
Trainer Edito Villamor said Sultan, nicknamed ‘Zorro,’ carries his fighting weight of 127 to 128 pounds when he climbs the ring on fight night.
A third Filipino will also be seeing action in the Ancajas-Sultan undercard as John Vincent Moralde takes on unbeaten American Ismail Muwendo.
Moralde, fighting out of SanMan Promotions, tipped the scale at 132 pounds, while Muwendo was slightly heavier at 132.6 pounds.
The 24-year-old Moralde from Davao, sports a 19-1 record with 10KOs, and is raring to bounce back after suffering his first loss as a pro last December, a seventh round stoppage at the hands of Toka Kahn Clary in New York.
Muwendo has a clean 19-0 record including 12 KOs.