WHETHER he fights Jerwin Ancaajas next week or next month, he doesn’t care. Jonas Sultan has long been ready for this chance of a lifetime.
Trainer Edito ‘Ala’ Villamor said the 26-year-old Sultan is looking forward to his historic bout with Ancajas for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight championship on April 14 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The 12-round bout will see two Filipinos squaring off for a world title for the first time since 1925 when Pancho Villa retained his world flyweight crown by beating compatriot Clever Sencio at the Wallace Field in Manila (now better known as Rizal Park).
But whether its Ancajas or anybody else, Sultan, one of the rising stars of Cebu-based ALA Promotions, is prepared to fight in his first ever foray in a world championship bout.
“Sultan is ready anytime,” said Villamor, who is currently in Manila to accompany reigning IBF champion Donnie Nietes.
“He’s long been waiting and preparing for this fight,” added the former world title challenger.
For a while, the fight was left hanging in the balance as Top Rank, which promotes Ancajas, eyed it as a headliner for a fight card in Philadelphia on April 28 or perhaps push it to a June playdate.
But the decision of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao not to fight in an undercard of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight match between champion Jeff Horn and unbeaten challenger Terrence Crawford opened the door for the Ancajas-Sultan duel.
Despite the short notice, Sultan is up for the challenge.
“Nagpapakundisyon na siya before pa. And we’ve been in the midst of our sparring na, kaya tamang-tama lang sa schedule ng fight,” said Villamor.
The official contract for the bout will be sent to the camps of Ancajas and Sultan this week, according to international matchmaker Sean Gibbons, who added ALA Promotions’ Michael Aldeguer has already agreed for Sultan, the mandatory challenger, to face Ancajas.
Top Rank chairman Bob Arum will then officially announced the fight in the US.
Sultan earned the right to take on Ancajas after scoring a 12-round unanimous decision against former two-time world champion Johnriel Casimero in Cebu last September.
The challenger has a 14-3 record with nine KOs.