By: Sean Crose
Fresno State in California offered some boxing from the 115 pound realm on Saturday. The 29-1-1 Jerwin Ancajas battled the 14-3 Jonas Sultan for the IBF word super flyweight title. On the undercard, the 23-0 Khalid Yafai faced off against the 21-5-5 David Carmona for Yafai’s WBA super flyweight title. The fights were aired live on ESPN+, ESPNs new streaming platform from which the network hopes will spawn big things.
The night opened with Yafai and Carmona. Before the bout, Carmona had expressed his waning interest in the sport of boxing to the ESPN team. Still, the man fought his heart out in what proved to be an exciting affair. Yafai dropped his man in the first, but Carmona got off the mat and actually seemed to hurt the champion himself before the bell rang to end the round.
Yafai resumed control, but Carmona simply was not going to allow the Englishman to have an easy night’s work. After being dropped again in the fourth and once more in the fifth, it was obvious that Yafai was the dominant fighter. Carmona kept things exciting, though, and at no point in the bout did it seem like Yafai was blithely walking away with things. Ultimately, Carmona’s corner stopped the bout in between the seventh and eight rounds, apparently convinced that their man had simply had enough. There was no mistaking, though, that Carmona had made a good showing of himself throughout the fight.
It was time for the main event. This match, for the IBF strap, was between two Filipinos who entered the ring looking and acting more like gentlemen than they did contemporary showboating athletes. Ancajas, the champion, was entering the fight with the reputation of being the more polished fighter of the two, while the challenger Sultan was known to be aggressive and entertaining. Both men lived up to their reputations. The crowd may have booed at times for the match not being a slugfest, but discerning fans saw a lot to appreciate in the skill set of Ancajas, who worked an effective jab and kept his distance throughout the fight.
Sultan had certainly come to win and he did, in fact, have his moments. Those moments were too few and far between, however, and Ancajas walked away with a one sided decision victory. The fact that Ancajas was able to dominate as he did was a credit to the man’s craftsmanship. The defending champion simply never allowed Sultan to get into the match with any kind of regularity.