Filipino boxers

Sultan gets short break as Gibbons looks for foe

Roy Luarca
Sultan gets short break as Gibbons looks for foe

UPSET. Jonas Sultan defeats a highly favored foe in Carlos Caraballo.

Top Rank

Sean Gibbons wants Jonas Sultan to fight as soon as possible after his upset victory over Carlos Caraballo

Jonas Sultan is getting a well-deserved respite after his clear victory over erstwhile unbeaten Carlos Caraballo on Saturday, October 30 (Sunday, October 31, Manila time) at the Madison Square Garden in New York City.

His trainer Joven Jimenez and manager Junnie Navarro agree Sultan will benefit from at least a two-week break following his four-knockdown unanimous decision over the highly favored Puerto Rican, who had knocked out all of his 14 opponents before tangling with the One Punch Man for the vacant World Boxing Organization intercontinental bantamweight crown.

Jimenez and Navarro, however, differ on what Sultan should do in his spare time.

According to Jimenez, he would prefer that Sultan stay in Los Angeles, where they will hold training camp for Jerwin Ancajas’ 10th defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight belt before 2021 ends.

Sultan wants to reciprocate Ancajas’ help and advice in his preparations for Caraballo apart from serving as his sparring partner at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood.

Team Sultan, which includes his promoter Brendan Gibbons and MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons, flew back to Los Angeles from New York on Sunday.

Navarro, who stayed behind to fulfill some commitments, feels it would do Sultan more good if he can fly back to the Philippines and reunite with his wife and three children even if for just a few days.

“He (Jonas) has been in the United States for a long time and he misses his family,” explained Navarro, who manages Sultan with Mike Venezuela of Zamboanga Valientes MLV.

“I’m sure he’ll be more inspired, driven, and focused when he reports back for training. I’ll guarantee coach (Joven) and the Gibbons he’ll return on time.”

The elder Gibbons wants Sultan, who he refers to as “Man of Destiny,” to fight as soon as possible. A fight with the current champions – World Boxing Association and IBF titlist Naoya Inoue, WBO champion John Riel Casimero, and World Boxing Council king Nonito Donaire – isn’t possible for Sultan in 2021 as all three have scheduled title defenses in December.

Inoue, who is Sultan’s preferred opponent, will tackle Thai Aran Dipaen on December 14 in Tokyo; Casimero will clash with Briton Paul Butler on December 11 in Dubai; and Donaire will battle fellow Filipino Reymart Gaballo also on December 11 in Carson City, California.

Sultan isn’t inclined to a rematch with Casimero, who he beat in a super flyweight title eliminator in 2017, as they have become friends. –