World junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas might next face a fellow Filipino in Jonas Sultan, who was previously declared by the IBF as Ancajas’ mandatory challenger.
But a Pinoy versus Pinoy fight doesn’t seem ideal at this point of Ancajas’ career especially after his impressive US debut against Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez over the weekend.
“Businesswise, parang hindi ideal for Ancajas,” said fight analyst Dennis Principe. “After that impressive debut sa US, logic dictates na doon ka na muna.”
Even if Ancajas battles Sultan in the US, the bout might not resonate with American fans, said Principe.
Ed Tolentino, for his part, doesn’t find any reward for Ancajas in taking on Sultan.
“For me, Ancajas should go after the bigger names. Nothing to gain in Sultan fight,” he said. “I mean, what gain can be possibly realized in taking on and possibly beating a countryman?”
Sultan, who fights under ALA Promotions, gained the IBF's mandatory status by pulling off an upset against former 2-division champion Johnriel Casimero last September.
But the mandatory assignment could potentially hurt Sultan, who has a pro record of 14-3. Ancajas, in comparison, is a more experienced boxer with a 21-1 win loss-slate.
“Sultan can be groomed further and can be a champ too if he plays his cards right,” said Tolentino.
Principe said Ancajas should instead take the same path taken by his predecessor, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, given the way he disposed of Mexico’s Gonzalez.
“Why not create another Manny Pacquiao phenom? Remember naging selling point ni Manny ay ang pagiging ‘Mexicutioner’ niya early in his career. Most successful cards na pinagbidahan n'ya were against a well-known Mexican fighter,” explained Principe.
“So if you want to be a Manny Pacquiao or follow his path, take and stop as many Mexicans as he can. After all the superflyweight is a Mexican-heavy division.”
But Ancajas' handlers seems to have no choice over the issue.
"In the IBF we have a mandatory with another Filipino Jonas Sultan," said MP Promotions matchmaker Sean Gibbons in ESPN.
"We're looking into that. If we have to do that fight we'll do it. If not, we'll see what's out there. But we're kind of looking at the mandatory right now."
Joe Ramos of MP Promotions, which co-promotes Ancajas, also cited Sultan as the next possible opponent.
"Obviously the mandatory is Jonas Sultan of the Philippines," Ramos said. "We'll go there and see what happens."
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