According to The Philippine Star, IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is set to make the seventh defense of his title against mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai of Japan.
The paper notes that Ancajas vs. Funai is likely heading to the undercard of either the upcoming defense of WBA lightweight titlist Vasiliy Lomachenko or WBO welterweight ruler Terence Crawford.
Ancajas' matchmaker Sean Gibbons is looking to finalize the details of the bout in the coming days.
Gibbons reveals that he was trying to make a unification between Ancajas and WBC counterpart Srisaket Sor Rungvisai - but the contest fell out when promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport offered a high purse to Sor Rungvisai to face Juan Francisco Estrada in a rematch on the streaming service DAZN.
Sor Rungvisai and Estrada fought in a war in early 2018, with the Thai champion winning a close twelve round majority decision. The bout was televised on HBO and the network was planning to stage a rematch - but in the second half of the year HBO had shockingly announced their decision to drop boxing after 45 years.
Both of the tentative dates for Ancajas' next defense are scheduled for April - as Lomachenko's return is slated for the Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 12, and Crawford is slated to defend his belt against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York City in an ESPN pay-per-view event on April 20.
Funai, 33, has never fought outside of Japan. He has a 31-7 record, with 22 KOs and has won his last seven outings, six by knockout.
Ancajas, 27, has a record of 30-1-2, with 20 KOs. He went the limit in his last two fights, winning a decision over countryman Jonas Sultan and he barely hung on to his title in a split draw with Mexico’s Alejandro Santiago.