Thrills And Skills On Display As Yafai and Ancajas Win
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.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN+ Preview: Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the first All Filipino World Title Fight in nearly one hundred years will take place as Jerwin Ancajas battles Jonas Sultan for the IBF Junior Bantamweight Title. The last all Filipino title fight was in 1925 when Pancho Villa defended his title against Clever Sencio. The WBA Junior bantamweight Title will also be on the line as Khalid Yafai defends his title against David Carmona.
This fight card will be part of Top Rank’s deal with ESPN to broadcast fights on ESPN’s new ESPN+ streaming service. The Save Mart Center in Fresno, California will be the host site for Saturday’s fights.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing Twitter Account
The following is a preview of both world title fights.
Khalid Yafai (23-0) vs. David Carmona (21-5-5); WBA Junior Bantamweight Title
Khalid Yafai is a British Champion that is starting to make a name for himself. He won the WBA title in 2016 against Luis Concepcion and has held it ever since.
He has never tasted defeat and has fourteen knockouts on his resume. He’s the same size as Carmona, but is considerably more experienced and successful both as a professional and as an amateur.
Yafai had a very successful amateur career and represented the United Kingdom in the 2008 Summer Olympics. Carmona has no such successful amateur background.
Carmona fought once in 2018, twice in 2017, and once in 2016. Yafai has fought twice in 2017 and four times in 2016.
Carmona’s biggest win of his career was against Antonio Garcia. He has lost almost every time he has stepped up to face good competition. He has losses to Daniel Lozano, Carlos Cuadras, Naoya Inoue, Omar Narvaez, and Fernado Curiel.
Yafai has defeated the likes of Sho Ishida, Suguru Muranaka, and Jason Cunningham.
On paper this fight looks like a mismatch, and in the ring it will probably look like one. The winner of this bout may face the winner of the main event.
Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1) vs. Jonas Sultan (14-3); IBF Junior Bantamweight Title
Jerwin Ancajas is a twenty six year old southpaw Filipino Champion. He’ll be facing a Filipino contender in Jonas Sultan, who is also twenty six years old but fights out of an orthodox stance. Ancajas will have about a two inch height advantage.
Ancajas has fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and once in 2016. Three of his past four fights were KO/TKO wins and he has twenty stoppages during his career.
Sultan is currently riding a five fight win streak with four of those five fights coming by KO/TKO. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016 with nine stoppages during his career.
Ancajas lone loss was to Mark Anthony Gerlado early on in his career in 2012. He has won every fight since then and has defeated the likes of Israel Gonzalez, Jamie Conaln, Teiru Kinoshita, Jose Rodriguez, and McJoe Arroyo.
Sultan does not have the professional resume of Ancajas. He has losses to Go Onaga, Jonathan Francisco, and Rolando Servania. He has had some recent success including victories over John Riel Casimero, Sonny Boy Jaro, Mazakole Tete, and Tatsuya Ikemizu.
Ancajas also has the edge in amateur experience. He allegedly has an amateur record of 90-5 while Sultan has an amateur record of 8-4.
Ancajas has traveled all over the world to fight. He has fought in the United States, Northern Ireland, Australia, Macao, the Philippines and China. Sultan has fought in nations such as South Africa, the Philippines, and Japan. This will be Sultan’s first fight in the United States.
Ancajas has the apparent edge in all the tangible comparisons with Sultan. He’ll likely shine on Saturday night with a bigger name opponent in the near future.