Jerwin Ancajas IBF super flyweight

FILE – Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines gestures to fans 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—MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons is adamant to put Jerwin Ancajas into the larger consciousness of the Philippines’ boxing-crazed populace.

Despite being a champion for more nearly five years, Ancajas hasn’t had a title defense in the Philippines and Gibbons plans to change that and book the IBF World super flyweight champion in a fight card in his native land.

“Moving forward eventually, Jerwin has never defended the belt in the Philippines so we’d love to get a title defense in the Philippines before we go for another big fight,” said Gibbons in a Zoom interview. “That’s the goal, do a fight in the Philippines.”

Ancajas (33-1-2) became the IBF’s 115-pound champion in September 2016 when he defeated McJoe Arroyo in Taguig but that was his last fight in the Philippines as he defended his title in Macau, Australia, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and the United States.

His last title defense was a unanimous win against Jonathan Rodriguez this April.

Gibbons said that they plan to have Ancajas fight two more times this year and hope to have the 29-year-old become the undisputed super flyweight champion as early as possible.

To do that, though, would take the combined efforts of MP Promotions, Showtime, and Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

“Being on Showtime and getting good publicity and the PBC just letting us do what we feel is best and bringing different things to present to them,” said Gibbons. “Al Haymon has been very supportive of Filipino boxers and he gives opportunities and helps us out.”

Ancajas switched stables from Top Rank to PBC just before the Rodriguez fight. His team felt that Haymon’s company presented a better opportunity for the lighter weight classes as Bob Arum’s empire was preoccupied with the mega fight between heavyweight champions Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua.

“We have no hard feelings with Bob but it came to a point in the pandemic that Top Rank wasn’t doing a lot of shows for the smaller weight classes,” said Gibbons. “We’re just trying to figure out the next best step.”

Though their plan is to have Ancajas defend his title in the Philippines, Gibbons admitted that boxing negotiations aren’t that linear.

A plan to have Ancajas fight Juan Francisco Estrada to unify the IBF, WBC, and WBA Super titles could be pushed back as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez practically set up a trilogy with the two-belt champion following their fight in March.

That leaves WBO champion Kazuot Ioka as a potential opponent for Ancajas for him to get that two-belt champion status.

“We will have to speak with Ioka’s people, there’s an opportunity for that fight,” said Gibbons. “We’re not against making that fight but then again it has to work out between the two parties.”


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