History is only two days away, as Jerwin "Pretty Boy’" Ancajas will defend the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world title in the main event Saturday evening against countryman Jonas Sultan at the Save Mart Center. It marks the first world title bout featuring two Filipino fighters in 93 years, when Pancho Villa defended the world flyweight title against Clever Sencio on May 2, 1925. (photos by Mikey Williams).
In the co-feature, Great Britain’s Kal Yafai will make the third defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight title against David Carmona.
Ancajas vs. Sultan and Yafai vs. Carmona will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN+ beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
Undercard bouts will be shown on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET. The undercard includes undefeated welterweight prospect Alexander Besputin (9-0, 7 KOs) in a 10-rounder against Saul Corral (27-11, 18 KOs); unbeaten lightweight prospect Ismail Muwendo (19-0, 12 KOs) against John Moralde (19-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder; and Central Valley 130-pound prospects Bryan Lua and Isidro Ochoa in separate six-round bouts.
This is what the fighters had to say.
"For me, Filipino boxers fight with their heart, so I consider a Filipino opponent to be difficult in the ring."
"It is God's will that we are here, participants in the main event. I thank Top Rank for the opportunity."
"It has always been my dream to fight for a world championship, and this opportunity has come my way. Throughout my career, and when I was young, this is what I dreamed of. I am going to go all out to win this championship."
"I studied Ancajas' style very carefully, and now it's my opportunity to do what I can."
“I watch the fights with my trainer. Carmona is a tough fighter. He’s been in the ring with guys like Inoue and Cuadras, took them both the distance. Cuadras was close. He could’ve won that fight. So, yeah, he’s tough, experienced. He’s had three world title fights, so he knows what he’s doing in there. On Saturday, he’s going to come across someone who is very quick. I think I’m just too good all around, and especially when I’m looking to make an explosive performance in my U.S. debut. I think he’s in a little trouble, but I’m going to go out there, box him, take what I can, and go from there.”
"I've come out here to deal with business on Saturday night, defend my world title, impress, look good, and dazzle in front of an American audience on ESPN+."
"I'm ready to fight. I hope to have a good opponent in the ring. He's a champion, and we're going to make a good fight."
"I can show my power and my talent and my speed, but this Saturday night, I want to show that I can box, I have power, and I have the one-punch knockout power as well."
“Look where I’m at now. Nine years after winning my first national title, I’m signed by Top Rank, one of the biggest promotional companies, fighting on the biggest cards.”
“I watch every fight. Every big fight I’m on, I stay and watch all the fights because I learn things. Although I’m outside the ring, you learn from watching the best.”