Ancajas to defend IBF title, Tapales eyes interim crown

(The Freeman) - December 8, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Filipino boxers Jerwin Ancajas and Marlon Tapales carry different missions as they take on separate foes today in different places and time zones far away from their native homeland.

At the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico, Ancajas will defend his International Boxing Federation super flyweight title against new opponent Miguel Gonzalez of Chile.

Ancajas was supposed to slug it out with Jonathan Rodriguez but the fight was scrapped after the Mexican failed to secure his US visa in time for their November 2 showdown in Carson, California.

Still, the camp of Ancajas looks at Gonzalez as a dangerous opponent owing to the Chilean’s impressive 31-2 record, albeit spiked with only 8KOs.

On paper though, Ancajas is the obvious favorite with his 31-1-2 card packed with 21KOs. He will make the eighth defense of the IBF belt he seized with a unanimous decision victory over the previously unbeaten McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico on September 3, 2016 at Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corp in Barangay Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

On the other hand, Tapales hopes to hurdle one major obstacle in his bid to become world champion again as he clashes with Ryosuke Iwasa of Japan for the interim IBF super bantamweight crown at the Barclays Center in New York.

It’s going to be an exciting match-up as both Tapales (33-2, 16KOs) and Iwasa (26-3, 16KOs) are former world titleholders.

 Tapales once owned the WBO bantamweight diadem but lost it on scales two years ago. Despite that, the prized ward of Cebuano promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud is in on a 12-fight winning roll, with his last seven victories coming by way of knockout.

“I want to be world champion again,” Tapales told “The first step is winning this fight against Iwasa. I can’t say whether I’ll get the knockout, but I’m going to try my best to give a great fight.”

Just like Tapales, Iwasa is itching to prove that he still has what it takes to be a world champ again. The 29-year-old Japanese once held court at the IBF 122-pound division in 2017 but lost it in his only second defense against TJ Doheny 11 months later. EBV

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