Ancajas eyes title unification bout vs Ioka | Inquirer Sports
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Ancajas eyes title unification bout vs Ioka

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 09:14 PM January 08, 2021
Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF super flyweight against Ryuichi Funai

FILE – Jerwin Ancajas (C) of the Philippines celebrates with his team after defeating Ryuichi Funai of Japan in their 12-round Super Flyweight IBF World Title fight in Stockton, California on May 4, 2019. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines—Jerwin Ancajas had an idle 2020 but he’s already gearing up for what could be a busy year.

The IBF World super flyweight champion is set to start his year with a title defense against Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez, a fight that was thrice delayed due to several reasons, and he’s also eyeing a unification bout against WBO champion Kazuto Ioka.

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Trainer Joven Jimenez said he and his pupil are not only looking to get one more belt in the 115-pound division, but they’re eyeing all four.

Kazuto (26-2) came off an eighth-round technical knockout win over fellow Japanese fighter Kosei Tanaka in Tokyo on Dec. 31 for his second defense of his WBO belt.

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While Ancajas and Jimenez are hitting the mitts, their matchmaker Sean Gibbons, who is also the president of MP Promotions, is busy working the paperwork and the nitty gritty of the negotiations.

“This is what all of us wants, including Sean so that’s why he’s been working hard to make these fights happen,” said Jimenez in Filipino Friday. “We want to unify all the belts.”

“We’re not planning to go up on weight, we want to get all the belts.”

With boxing being a sport not only played inside the ring but also in negotiation, Jimenez said that Gibbons has been in constant communication with the other promotions and broadcasting companies like DAZN to set up the unification bouts.

“He’s been talking to them, and he said that the more Jerwin fights then the easier the negotiations will be,” said Jimenez.

A champion of four years, Ancajas (32-1-2) has yet to fight in a unification bout and Jimenez believes there’s a reason why.

“They say that the other camps are dodging Jerwin,” said Jimenez.

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Of all the champions in 115-lb division, Ancajas is the youngest and the tallest with Kazuto, Juan Francisco Estrada (WBC, The Ring), and Roman Gonzalez (WBA) all in their 30s and standing below 5-foot-5.

Ancajas, 29, is one of the biggest super flyweights at 5-foot-6. Next is Kazuto at 5-foot-4.5, Estrada at 5-foot-4 and Gonzalez at 5-foot-3.

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TAGS: Boxing, Jerwin Ancajas, Joven Jimenez, Sports
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