It is with great pride to post a feature of two fellow Filipino boxers that will be sharing a boxing ring on the international stage. Jonas Sultan of Zamboanga del Norte, challenges Jerwin Ancajas of Panabo, Davao del Norte on 26 May 2018, Saturday (Sunday morning Manila) at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California for the world super flyweight title.
The last time two Filipinos featured in a boxing match in a world stage was in 1925. A fight featuring boxing great Pancho Villa, birth name, Francisco Villaruel Guilledo of Iloilo City against Inocencio “Clever Sencio” Moldes of Leyte. The fight was held at Wallace field, now called Rizal Park in Manila.
After almost a century, 93 years to be exact, two Filipino boxers will meet in one ring and the boxing world watching. This fight will be written in Philippine boxing history as the first ever two Filipino boxers fought a world championship match held outside the Philippines. This magnitude of boxing match-up happened most of the time between two world-recognized Mexican boxers but not between two Filipinos.
The fight will be seen live on ESPN+ in the United States and ESPN 5 in the Philippines.
Many Filipinos frowned at the idea of two Filipinos fighting against each other. But it’s a great opportunity to showcase Filipino boxing skills and talent at the world stage. It’s a win-win for both fighters and the country they represent. Ancajas and Sultan will bring the prize back to their home country. The world championship on the line, whoever wins still remain to a Filipino.
Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs), and Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) both came from the same place I was born and raised, in the southern part of the Philippines, in Mindanao. A place where economic growth and development hampered by rebellion, unstable law, and order. Opportunities for decent paying jobs were scarce. Thanks to the current president, whose primary platform in governance is law and order. The Philippine government is on talking terms with all rebel fronts.
Many young from Mindanao look at boxing as their ticket way out of poverty. For Ancajas and Sultan, boxing may not be a choice but sees the sport of boxing as their way out poverty.
Both men were raised by farmer fathers. Ancajas father worked at a banana plantation in Panabo City. Sultan’s father grows corn in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte. Influenced by their respective older brothers about boxing, Ancajas, and Sultan lace a pair of gloves to punch their way out of poverty.
Tale of the tape
During Friday’s weigh-in, Jerwin Ancajas hit the scales and came in at 114.8 lbs while Jonas Sultan came in at 114.4. Both fighters were below the 115-pound limit. They look strong, in top shape, brimming with confidence and ready to go for tonight’s showdown.
Ancajas has the height advantage who stands at 5 foot, six inches tall, whereas Sultan stands 5 foot, 4 inches, a two-inch disadvantage. Ancajas fights on a southpaw stance, while Sultan on an orthodox stance.
Boxing records show Ancajas has the experience advantage of having 31 total fights out of which; 29 wins, 20 inside the distance, a draw and a loss. Sultan has 17 total fights out of which; 14 wins, 9 inside the distance, and 3 losses.
Ancajas also registers 16 consecutive winning streak starting from his lone loss back in 2012. Whereas Sultan has only five starting from his last loss in 2015. But don’t let the records fool you, Sultan’s last three fights were all former champions, Makazole Tete, veteran Sonny Boy Jaro, and his last fight he scored a stunning upset against John Riel Casimero. Ancajas last three fights were all stoppages against Teiru Kinoshita, Jamie Conlan, and Israel Gonzalez.
Ancajas is a methodical, technical fighter with decent power on both hands. He has great footwork, fast hands. He can’t be easily lured into a brawl as he looks for better angles, comes in and out pretty quick and racking points on the scorecards. He’s patient in the ring, not rushing things but if he senses the opponent’s breaking point, he has the ferocity to finish the job with a knockout.
Sultan is a fighter who finds a way to win. His style is unpredictable, awkward, not easy to read what will be his next move. He’s confident, unintimidated even on opponents home turf. He finds answers and counters to every type of assault, ask Casimero. But of course, he’s the underdog tonight.
Since I’m predicting, I’ll go for the unpredictable. Jonas Sultan in a razor-thin decision. Why? it’s because.