Ancajas-Funai card a sellout, says Arum
STOCKTON, USA – For a change, Jerwin Ancajas will see a throng of people, not rows of empty seats when he stakes the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight crown for the seventh time against Ryuichi Funai on Saturday, May 4 (Sunday, May 5, Philippine time) here.
According to Top Rank head Bob Arum, the fight card headlined by Canadian Artur Betebiev's defense of the IBF light heavyweight title against Russian Radivoje Kaladzic is already sold out, with local organizers issuing 400 extra tickets for sale on Friday at the Stockton Arena, which can be configured to seat from 10,000 to 12,000.
While the power-punching Beteviev, the only world champion with a perfect knockout rate (13 in 13 wins), will be tangling with another heavy hitter in Kalajdzic (24-1, 17 KOs), focus of attention is really on local idol Gabriel Flores, who'll be battling Brazilian Eduardo Pereira Reis in a lightweight six-rounder.
Flores, who became the youngest pro boxer at 16 in 2016, will be staking his spotless 12-0 record with 5 KOs against Reis (23-5, 19 KOs).
Of course, the presence of a strong Filipino community here, also boosted sales, said Arum, best remembered as Manny Pacquiao's longtime promoter.
Top Rank still holds a three-fight contract with Ancajas, who's also being promoted by Pacquiao through his MP Promotions, represented here by right hand man and international matchmaker Sean Gibbons.
Gibbons played a key role for the airing of Ancajas-Funai live in ABS-CBN Sports + Action.
Serving as judges for the Ancajas-Funai duel are Daniel Sandoval, Jonathan Davis and Kermit Bayless with Ed Collantes serving as third man in the ring.
Ancajas' last 3 fights in the US – against Israel Gonzalez in Corpus Christi, Texas, Jonas Sultan in Fresno, California, and Alejandro Santiago Barrios in Oakland, California – failed to draw big crowds. – Rappler.com