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Arcajas, Sultan prepare for first All-Filipino world title bout in 93 years



No matter the result, history will be made Saturday evening at the Save Mart Center, when Jerwin Ancajas defends the IBF junior bantamweight title against Jonas Sultan. It will be the first all-Filipino world title bout contested since 1925.

 

In the co-feature, WBA 115-pound champion Kal Yafai of Birmingham, England, will make his U.S. debut against two-time world title challenger David Carmona.

 

Appearing on the undercard will be a pair of 4-0 Central Valley junior lightweight prospects: Isidro Ochoa of Fresno and Bryan Lua of nearby Madera, Calif.

 

Many of the fighters from Saturday’s card worked out for the media Wednesday at Heartbeat Boxing.

 

This is what they had to say.


Jerwin Ancajas

"My goal is to entertain the crowd. For my fans, the Filipino community here, I’m looking forward to this fight."

"I’m proud that my dream has come true. All of my sacrifices paid off."

"Sultan is hungry for a world title fight, to prove he is the best. I am confident, but not overconfident, because he’s also Filipino. We are expecting a good fight for the fans."

"There are many great fighters in the Philippines, and I am happy that Jonas and myself can share this big stage. We are making history, and I am glad that we can fight to see who is the best."

Jonas Sultan

"For me, I’m really proud for this fight because I am the one fighting for a championship that is history-making in the Philippines. I am very grateful that I am the one. This is my dream in life, to fight for the world championship."

"This is very good for me because this is an important opportunity. Jerwin is a good fighter. He has speed and power. I trained hard. I have a really good plan for this fight." 

Kal Yafai

"It was the right time in my career {to make my American debut}. I had the opportunity, to not only to fight in the U.S., but fight on a Top Rank card. Top Rank is a very respected promoter, and my promoter, Eddie Hearn, thought it was the best opportunity for me. So, that’s what we did."

"At this moment, I don’t really care about {Ancajas-Sultan} because I have a job to do myself. I’m not looking past this fight. After my fight, I’ll obviously watch the fight if I’m not too tired. I always concentrate on what I have in front of me."

"There are plenty of great fighters at 115 pounds. Jonas Sultan is a great fighter, and he can’t be written off on Saturday night. Jerwin is a great fighter also, who I expect to win on Saturday." 

Bryan Lua

"My first three opponents, I tried to hit them with everything, and they went in survival mode for the rest of the four rounds. With my last fight (a first-round KO), I just took my time, let him in, and caught him with a left hook."

"It’s like I’ll be fighting in my backyard. All the people that have been supporting me from Madera, Fresno, and the entire Central Valley will be there. I’m just excited to put on a show."

"Now that I’m training with Jose Ramirez and {trainer} Robert Garcia in Riverside, it motivates me more to showcase my talent here, so one day I can be the main event or the co-main event with Jose."

Isidro Ochoa 

"I’m really excited for this. It’s been my dream since I was little to fight in big arenas like the Save Mart Center. All of my family and friends in Fresno will be able to make it here."

"Since Jose Ramirez turned pro, I feel like it’s opened the doors for a lot of Central Valley fighters. There is really good talent here in the Central Valley. Everyone knows Fresno as this really bad neighborhood, but deep down inside Fresno, there are a bunch of kids who want to do something with their lives. Boxing pushes people to accomplish their dreams."

 

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Ancajas vs. Sultan and Yafai vs. Carmona will be streamed exclusively on ESPN+ beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET., while undefeated welterweight prospect Alexander Besputin, Lua, Ochoa, and other undercard bouts will be shown on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.


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