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Jerwin Ancajas planning January defense, Kazuto Ioka unification in spring

Ancajas and Ioka were slated to fight on December 31st before travel restrictions canceled it


Japan’s new COVID restrictions may have scuttled IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ plans to face WBO champ Kazuto Ioka in a New Year’s Eve unification, but he’s still planning to get in the ring before winter’s end. Promoter Sean Gibbons tells Sports Nippon that Ancajas intends to defend his title in January before revisiting the Ioka fight in “April or May.”

Can’t say I don’t see the logic. Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KO) went through a whole training camp, after all, and there’s no sense in waiting when there’s no exact date when he’ll be cleared to enter Japan again. As far as who he could fight, that’s definitely up in the air; he doesn’t have a mandatory challenger and it will likely prove difficult to wrangle an international contender on less than two months’ notice. The most feasible option among the IBF’s top 15 is #7 Jade Bornea, but I can’t imagine Bornea’s management throwing him into the deep end.

Odds are, we’ll get someone more in line with Ancajas’ usual level of opposition.

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