Ancajas set to clash with Japan's Ioka in title unification

Dino Maragay - Philstar.com
Ancajas set to clash with Japan's Ioka in title unification
IBF junior bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas and WBO champion Kazuto Ioka will unify their belts on New Year's Eve.

MANILA, Philippines – IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will get a rare chance to unify titles, putting his title on the line against WBO belt holder Kazuto Ioka of Japan in a unification bout at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo on December 31.

Ancajas(33-1-2, 22 KOs), who has defended his title nine times, is raring to move one step closer to being the top 115-pound fighter in the world with another belt on his waist on New Year’s Eve.

“This is my Dream Fight! I have waited six years for a signature fight to prove to everyone in boxing that I am one of the best 115 pounders in the world,” Ancajas said.

But the fighter from Panabo City faces a tough test against Ioka (27-2, 15 KOs), a four-division world champion who has held world titles at minimumweight, junior flyweight, flyweight, and junior bantamweight divisions dating back to 2011.

Ioka will also be the home fighter, something Ancajas doesn’t mind.

“I have been to Japan, sparring in the past, and love the people of Japan and the boxing fans are some of the best in the world. They respect all fighters and root for the best man to win,” added Ancajas, who is no stranger to fighting overseas, having defended his title in Macau, Brisbane, Belfast, Mexico and throughout the US.

Ancajas last fought in April this year, outpointing Jonathan Javier Rodriguez in the US to defend the belt he has held since 2016.

Now he seeks to end the year with a bang in arguably the biggest fight of his career.

“We are very happy that Jerwin Ancajas, one of our first world champions, is getting this tremendous opportunity to unify his IBF title with the WBO title,” said Sean Gibbons, president of MP Promotions, which promotes the 29-year-old fighter. 

Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada holds the WBC version of the title and is considered as the best in the division, and a victory by Ancajas will put him on a collision course with Estrada to become the division’s undisputed king.





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