MANILA, Philippines—It seems that Jerwin Ancajas is taking a proactive approach in his career trajectory.
In an interview with Inquirer, Ancajas said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons presented him with several names whom to defend his IBF super flyweight title but he only had one person in mind and that was WBO champion Kazuto Ioka.
Ancajas (33-1-2) knew that unification bouts, especially between boxers under different promoters, are hard to come by so when he knew that the fight was pushing through he couldn’t feel but get elated over the opportunity.
“Sir Sean told me that there are several people we can talk to and that there are a few fighters who I can fight next,” said Ancajas in Filipino. “I told coach [Joven Jimenez] that I want Ioka because we have been waiting for so long to fight him and he’s someone we haven’t had a chance to fight.”
Ancajas unification bout against Ioka was ultimately announced on Thursday with the two set to square up on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, usually a special date in Japanese sports.
Ioka (27-2-0), on paper, is Ancajas’ toughest opponent yet with the Japanese star having won five titles across four weight classes.
The 32-year-old slugger is also riding a four-fight winning streak following his loss to Donnie Nietes on December 31, 2018.
Landing the fight was also a perfect opportunity for both fighters as it was Ioka’s camp who first approached Ancajas’ management.
“This opportunity might not come my way in the future,” said Ancajas. “Their plans might change because it was Ioka’s team who first told us that they want a fight.”
Ancajas and his team are set to leave Los Angeles and fly to Tokyo on December 11.
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