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News  


Sultan to disrupt Ancajas’ rhythm


PhilBoxing.com




FRESNO. The only way Jonas Sultan can beat IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in their 12-round title bout here this morning (Manila time) is by throwing off his rhythm with an awkward and unconventional “bara-bara” style.

But Ancajas’ trainer Joven Jimenez insisted that’s not happening. “We expect Sultan to pressure and be aggressive,” said Jimenez in Pilipino. “He’ll try to surprise Jerwin by shifting tactics. Jerwin is very disciplined in his approach so that’s what Sultan plans to disrupt. We know it will be a hard fight but we’re confident. If we need to adjust during the fight, Jerwin will listen and do it.”

Sultan’s ALA stablemate Donnie Nietes, a three-division world champion who’s aiming for a fourth title when he takes on countryman Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO superflyweight crown in Cebu on Aug. 18, said what makes the challenger special is his fearlessness. “Jonas isn't scared of anyone,” said Nietes in Pilipino. “He doesn’t care who his opponent is. He’ll fight anyone who’s put in front of him.”

Nietes said Sultan’s three weeks of training at the Wild Card and Maywood gyms in Los Angeles improved his conditioning and gave him more confidence. “With coach Nick (Curson), he worked on his strength, stamina and speed,” said Nietes. “Nick also supervised his diet. He didn’t starve like he used to in making weight. This time, he ate three good meals a day, got stronger and fresher.”

Curson said Sultan’s work ethic is like Nietes’ in that they both don’t take short-cuts in training. “Jonas is very pliable,” said Curson. “He absorbs easily. Sometimes, he intentionally messes up to get better and that’s a mark of a humble athlete. I’d rather work with an athlete who trains five days a week than two days a week because you know there is commitment to hard work. The goal is to get better. Jonas has the traits of a high-level elite athlete.”

Two-time Asian Games boxer and retired Philippine Army first lieutenant Delfin Boholst said he’s not impressed by Sultan’s record. Sultan earned the shot at Ancajas’ title by decisioning two-time world champion Johnriel Casimero in Cebu last September but Boholst said the win was far from convincing. Casimero is now training for a comeback in Las Vegas under former world junior welterweight champion Morris East at Floyd Mayweather’s gym.

Ancajas hasn’t lost in his last 16 fights, winning 15 by knockout, or since losing a majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in Lapu-Lapu City in 2012. His record is 29-1-1, with 20 KOs. In Ancajas’ last four fights, he didn’t lose a single round except for a point deduction in the Jamie Conlan bout. Sultan has won five in a row since dropping a unanimous decision to Go Onagi in Japan in 2015. Four of the five wins were by KO, including stoppages of Tatsuya Ikemizu in Japan, former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro in Angono and Makazole Tete in South Africa.

ALA Boxing president Michael Aldeguer said both fighters are on a roll. “Jerwin has been impressive in his last few fights and Jonas has proven that he deserves this chance after winning impressively against two respected former world champions in Casimero and Jaro plus his KO wins in South Africa and Japan," he said. "Jonas respects Jerwin as a world champion but he believes he can win it. He’s very excited about the fight and has trained really hard the past months.”


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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