MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas will be making his mandatory title defense against countryman Jonas Sultan in the first all-Filipino world title fight since 1925 on May 26 in Las Vegas.
Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 knockouts) and Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) were supposed to be the undercard of the Jeff Horn-Terrence Crawford bout on April 14. According to Ring TV, however, Crawford’s hand injury postponed the fight to June 9. Instead of joining the rescheduled fight, Ancajas-Sultan will be headlining the May 26 fight on ESPN.
With critics saying that the fight will be “not as exciting” because it is an all-Filipino world title bout that will take place in the US, the IBF junior bantamweight title holder feels the pressure to prove them wrong.
“Pressure din po sa akin ito. Yung iba nga nagsasabi na hindi maganda yung mangyayari kasi kapwa-Filipino,” said Ancajas
(It’s a pressure for me too. There are people who say that the fight won’t be as exciting because it’s between two Filipinos)
Ancajas added that it is a challenge from both him and his coach Joven Jimenez to also change the world’s perception of all-Filipino fights and convince the fans that it is actually “exciting” to watch.
“Yung hinahamon namin ni coach ay pag dating sa laban, lalo na sa US gaganapin, gusto namin na maganda yung laban. Hindi porket lang Filipino ang kalaban, hindi magandang panoorin. Gusto namin ibenta yung laban na maganda, at masasabi ng ibang bansa na maganda palang panoorin ang Pinoy vs Pinoy na maglaban,” said Ancajas.
(The challenge for me and coach is that during the fight, especially with the fact that it’s going to be in the US, we want the fight to be exciting. Not just because it’s two Filipinos going against each other, it won’t be as exciting to watch. We want to sell this fight to be exciting and other countries can see that it’s actually exciting to watch a Pinoy vs Pinoy fight.)
Ancajas’ matchmaker Sean Gibbons is also confident of Ancajas’ abilities to make the fight worthwhile with his “it” factor. Gibbons described that Ancajas gives off an aura that will make people watch him and at the same time, he continues to be humble.
“He’s humble, people can really relate to his story, where he came from that could be anybody out there, and when he gets into the fight, he brings excitement to the ring, so it’s something like an aura, you go in and people look,” said Gibbons. – Rappler.com