Filipino boxers

Sultan battles Japanese foe in undercard of Ancajas-Inoue world crown fight

Roy Luarca

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Sultan battles Japanese foe in undercard of Ancajas-Inoue world crown fight

POWER. Jonas Sultan unleashes a hit against Frank Gonzalez.

ZAMBOANGA VALIENTES

Jonas Sultan eyes an impressive victory over Japanese prospect Riko Masuda that is likely to earn him another shot at a world title eliminator

MANILA, Philippines – Jonas Sultan resumes his twice-stalled quest for ring glory when he tangles with Japanese prospect Riko Masuda in the undercard of the Jerwin Ancajas-Takuma Inoue title fight on February 24 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Gym in Tokyo.

After failing in world title cracks against Ancajas in 2018 and Briton Paul Butler in 2022, Sultan is bidding for an impressive victory over Masuda that is likely to earn him another shot at a world title eliminator.

Although Masuda lost his last bout against compatriot Seiya Tsutsumi, the 26-year-old lefty is deemed dangerous as he has knocked out his first three opponents.

Sultan, aware of Masuda’s punching power, is training hard in Los Angeles under coach Marvin Somodio as the bantamweight eight-rounder could be a make-or-break fight for the 32-year-old pride of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte.

In his lone bout in 2023, Sultan beat American Frank Gonzalez by a lopsided unanimous decision and raised his record to 19-6 with 11 knockouts.

“He (Sultan) is already in very good shape,” said Junie Navarro, Sultan’s benefactor and manager. “He’s out to prove that he deserves another [title] chance.”

While in the United States, Sultan is being taken care of by MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons and his son, Brendan, who’s listed as Sultan’s promoter.

According to Navarro, Sultan will be arriving in Japan on February 17 to acclimatize to the environment and wrap up his preparations for the Masuda encounter.

Ancajas, now a close friend of Sultan, will be aiming for the World Boxing Association bantamweight belt of Takuma, younger brother of the heralded Naoya Inoue, in the headliner of the card originally slated November 15 but was pushed back after the champion suffered a rib injury in training.

With a 34-3-2 card laced with 23 knockouts, Ancajas – the former International Boxing Federation super flyweight king – is expected to give Inoue (18-1, 4 knockouts) a tough challenge. – Rappler.com

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