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SPORTS SHORTS 239: JERWIN ANCAJAS VS. KAZUTO IOKA UNIFICATION IN THE WORKS FOR DECEMBER


PhilBoxing.com




International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas is set to face World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Kazuto Ioka in Japan possibly for December with their title unification bout is now being worked out.

* * *

International matchmaker and MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons disclosed that the negotiation for a unification world title bout with the camp of the Japanese world champion Ioka has began.

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Gibbons said that if the fight is to be held in Japan, there would be no problems and they will just familiarize themselves with the pandemic protocols in the country.

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“We are working with a unification fight with Ioka,” Gibbons was quoted by Business Mirror. "It’s fine and no problem with Japan, but we just have to figure out the quarantine restrictions.”

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Gibbons however pointed out that it was difficult to hold the fight in the US due to financial problems. “Nobody in the US will pay for the fight. We have to follow the money,” Gibbons added. He further cited that if the negotiations falter then they will be forced to arrange a regular fight in the US by December.

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Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KOs) has been targeting a unification title fight after his latest fight. He last fought on April 10 winning by unanimous decision against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Montville, Connecticut.

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The scores were 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110. In that fight, Ancajas floored Rodriguez in the eighth round.

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Ancajas, 29-years-old from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, was exhilarated when Ioka called him out last September 1 for a superflyweight unification bout after his victory against Mexican challenger Francisco Rodriguez via unanimous decision at Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.

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It was the 32-year-old Ioka's 18th world championship title fight win and it was a record by a Japanese fighter. But he was surprised of Rodriguez's viciousness.

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“I still have goals to gain more recognition in the world, there is much more to achieve. My goal is to unify the belts,” said Ioka as told to The Ring Magazine. "I can only control my own destiny. I hope for a unification fight with the IBF champion Ancajas.”

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Ioka (27-2, 15 KOs) is No.10 in Ring Magazine’s pound-for-pound list and No. 3 in the super flyweight division while Ancajas is No.4 in that division.

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Ancajas has said in previous interviews that he wants to become the undisputed champion in his weight class. Juan Francisco Estrada, the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine champion, would be the final step in the unification process as the Mexican is also the super flyweight champion in The Ring and No. 8 in the pound-for-pound list.

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"That is what we want," said his trainer and manager Joven Jimenez referring to the planned unification fight with WBO super flyweight champion Ioka of Japan.

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Jimenez, however, said they are also open to challenging other title holders in the next higher division, including Filipino world champions Nonito Donaire in the World Boxing Council (WBC) bantamweight and John Riel Casimero in the WBO bantamweight division.

* * *

"Even on short notice, we are always ready," said Jimenez, adding that they will never retreat from a world title bout. Ancajas has been a world super flyweight champion since 2016 and has defended the crown nine times.

* * *

MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons was planning to arrange a fight with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. But he also admitted that it was not that easy to get the Thai multiple superflyweight world champion. Likewise for Chocolatito Gonzalez and Juan Francisco Estrada.

* * *

That left Ancajas with the option of fighting Japanese four-division champion Ioka, who has beaten Filipino Aston Palicte by 10th round TKO, but lost to Donnie Nietes before that by split decision.

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"I will not withdraw... I'm in, 100%. I am a fighter," Senator Manny Pacquiao said on his presidential candidacy as quoted by CNN Philippines. That is even if surveys would indicate his chance of winning is lesser compared to other candidates.

* * *

Mikey Garcia faces Spain’s Sandor Martin in a scheduled 12-round bout. Both boxers weighed within the maximum limit of 145 pounds for their encounter which is scheduled on Saturday evening at Chukchansi Park in Fresno, California.

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Garcia (40-1, 30KOs) weighed 143.6 pounds, his lightest weight since July 2018 when he was still fighting as a lightweight. Barcelona’s Martin (38-2, 13KOs), the reigning European junior welterweight champion, weighed 144 pounds for his first fight in the United States.

* * *

Ryan Garcia suffered an injury in his right hand that will subject him to surgery next week and cancel his fight with Joseph Diaz Jr. next month. Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) was supposed to defend his WBC interim lightweight championship against Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) on November 27 in Los Angeles.

* * *

Klay Thompson is set to be back with the Golden State Warriors but not until after Christmas. By that time, it will have been about 30 months since he last played in an NBA game. He is recovering from a torn ACL and Achilles tendon.

* * *

Kyrie Iving said in an Instagram Live conversation: "I am doing what’s best for me. I know the consequences here, and if it means that I’m judged and demonized for that, that’s just what it is. That’s the role I play, but I never wanted to give up my passion, my love, my dream just over this mandate."

* * *

Irving, who is not Covid-19 vaccinated might lose half of his $35 million salary for missing games in the Brooklyn Nets homecourt over the vaccine rules, said his stand wasn’t about money.

* * *

The Southeast Asian Games will be scheduled in "the latter part of May 2022", according to POC President Abraham Tolentino. Vietnamese capital Hanoi is scheduled to stage the multi-sport event which was suppose to take place in November and December this year, but was delayed because of rising COVID-19 cases in Vietnam.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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