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Top Rank Pursuing Unification Between Ancajas and Franco


PhilBoxing.com




It has been reported that Top Rank's Bob Arum is working a deal with the Golden Boy Promotions for a possible unification bout involving IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and newly crowned WBA regular titlist Joshua Franco when big time boxing returns in the US this September or October.

This means that the ninth title defense of Jerwin originally set last May but cancelled due to the pandemic lockdown is officially no longer in Arum's agenda and that Arum is set to finally ramp up Ancajas career and championship profile by pitting him in a unification against Franco.

But it must be made clear that while Ancajas would be staking his IBF title, he only stands to gain just the WBA secondary crown Franco holds as regular titlist. Nicaraguan legend Roman Chocolalito Gonzalez is the WBA super champion following his stoppage win over erstwhile defending titlist Khalid Yafai early this year.

Franco made the headlines in the recent restart of pro boxing in the US when he outpointed Australian Andrew Moloney to wrest the WBA regular title. It could be recalled that Moloney himself was named as an Ancajas title challenger last year but declined to fight for the vacant WBA regular belt.

As things stand now, Jerwin will be fighting Franco, the conqueror of the man who snubbed or avoided him and with the prospect of adding the WBA regular belt to his IBF full championship.

That is much better than pursuing another title defense against mandatory challenger Jonathan Javier Gonzales which has already been postponed twice since late last year, the first on account of the Mexican puzzling inability to secure a US visa on time and the second due to Covid-19 lockdowm.

A Franco unification fight is also the next best option for Ancajas given his inability to get the biggest names in the 115 lbs division as WBA super champion Chocolatito Gonzalez, WBA and Ring lineal titlist Juan Francisco Estrada and Thai former champion Srisaket Sor Rungvusai to fight him.

Gonzalez and Estrada are reportedly girding for their own highly anticipated unification match which will actually be a rematch of their closely fought light flyweight title fight held years ago won by Chocolatito.

Sor Rungvusai is set to meet the winner of that fight and most likely, would be figuring in a tuneup in the interim. However, his own return to action will depend upon how soon boxing could make a comeback in his native Thailand.

The other world titlist, WBO champion Kazuto Ioka is set to make a defense against compatriot Kosei Tanaka who had vacated his WBO flyweight crown precisely to go after Ioka's belt at 115.

Given these, a unification fight versus Franco is indeed the best option for Ancajas presently.

However, since he will be risking his full championship --as well as the chance for super fights against the division big names --for the chance to gain just a secondary world belt, Jerwin has to be on his best possible condition and preparation against Franco.

Despite comparatively new in the division's top level competition, Franco is a no nonsense opponent and definitely a threat known for his Mexican style of fighting and accurate hitting.

Toting a record of 17 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws, Franco has continuously shown improvements against increasing levels and qualities of competition over the last two years since being stopped by Argentine Emmanuel Fernandez Leone in early 2018. He engaged Oscar Negrete in three closely fought contests, winning once and drawing twice. His most recent title victory over the erstwhile undefeated Moloney is his biggest thus far.

Ancajas, 32-1-2, has not lost since suffering his first and only career defeat against fellow Pinoy Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012. He won the IBF title over McJoe Arroyo in 2016 and has since turned back the challenge of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Teiru Kinoshita, Jamie Conlan, Israel Gonzales, Jonas Sultan, Alejandro Santiago Barrios, Ryuichi Funai and Miguel Gonzalez.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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