FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – Challenger Jonas Sultan and his team is not at all concerned with the wealth of experience champion Jerwin Ancajas will be bringing with him to their 12-round world title fight this Saturday at the Save Mart Center here.
Sultan has no less than top pound-for-pound fighter Vasyl Lomachenko to provide inspiration.
Trainer Edito Villamor pointed out Lomachenko (11-1-2, 9 KOs) vied for a world title in only his second fight as a pro, losing by split decision to Orlando Salido for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight belt. He eventually became world champ in his next outing following a majority decision over Gary Russell Jr.
“Si Lomanchenko nga lumaban agad kay Orlando Salido, di ba? reminded Villamor. “Ngayon si Lomanchenko is one of the best fighters in the world, samantalang ilang laban pa lang naman siya.”
Lomachenko is certainly well ahead of Sultan, but as Villamor stressed, both are just as passionate to become a world champion.
“Ang importante, gusto niyang maging world champion,” said the veteran trainer of the 26-year-old challenger, who sports a 14-3 record with nine KOs. “Kahit anong record yan, kahit anong experience yan, mawawala lahat (pagdating sa ring).”
Meanwhile, Ancajas is 29-1-1, with 20 KOs, and will be defending his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight belt for the fifth straight time – and the second time for the year.
Although not undermining the reigning champion from Panabo, Davao del Sur, Villamor said Ancajas’ last four fights involved relatively modest fighters in Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Teiru Kinoshita, Jamie Conlan, and Israel Gonzalez.
In contrast, Sultan’s fights over that same stretch involved two former world champions and a world-rated fighter.
“Yung last four fights ni Jerwin, hindi naman masyado… yung kalaban, compared naman doon sa last four fights ni Jonas,” said Sultan’s trainer, referring to Makazole Tete of South Africa, one-time World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight holder Sonny Boy Jaro, and two-time world champion Johnriel Casimero.
It was his unanimous 12-round win over Casimero in Cebu City last September that lined Sultan up for a title shot at Ancajas’ belt.
Villamor said Sultan is grateful at the chance given them by the champion to challenge for his title.
“Nagpapasalamat din kami kay Jerwin Ancajas na tinaggap niya yung kami as mandatory challenger,” he added. “It’s history, happy tayo lahat, win or lose, happy ang lahat.”