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Top Rank planning Jerwin Ancajas vs. Kal Yafai unification later this year

Latest Ancajas vs. Sultan David Carmona Jerwin Ancajas Jonas Sultan Khalid Yafai Yafai vs. Carmona


By Allan Fox: Top Rank is working on a deal that will see IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1, 20 KOs) face WBA 115 lb. champion Kal Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) later this year if both fighters win their interim fights on May 26.

Top Rank plans on having Yafai travel to the U.S to defend his title against David Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs) on the undercard of Ancajas’ next title defense against Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) on May 26th, according to Dan Rafael of ESPN. Yafai-Carmona will be the co-feature bout on the Ancajas vs. Sultan fight on ESPN. The venue for the card still hasn’t been determined yet, but the card will be taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Carmona, 26, would have been a great choice for Yafai to fight three years ago in 2015, but not right now. Carmona has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights and he’s no longer ranked in the top 15 by any of the four sanctioning bodies. Granted, Carmona’s losses have come against good fighters in Daniel Lozano, Carlos Cuadras and Naoya Inoue, but the fact is he’s lost 3 out of his last 4 fights and is no longer rated in the top 15.

If the World Boxing Association is going to sanction the Yafai-Carmona fight, you have to wonder whether their standards have slipped. Just last July, Carmona was knocked out in the 2nd round by Daniel Lozano.

Why isn’t Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn looking to match him against Lozano rather than the fighter he knocked out in 2 rounds in Carmona? It doesn’t make sense for Yafai to be matched like this, unless the idea is to give him a soft opponent.

“I have made a deal with Eddie for the fight and it gives us a nice doubleheader,” Top Rank president Carl Moretti said to ESPN.com. “They are both good fights, and if (Ancajas and Yafai) are successful, we’ll look to match them later this year.”

A question most boxing fans will likely ask is why bother with the interim fights? Top Rank should could out those useless fights and match Yafai against Ancajas right away on May 26 instead of having the dull interim fights against Sultan and Carmona.

What they should do is have Carmona and Sultan face each other on the undercard of Ancajas-Yafai on May 26. I’m just saying. Sultan (14-3) and Carmona (21-5-5) have a similar number of losses between them, so they should be the guys that fight instead of them getting title shots they arguably don’t deserve.

Sultan, 26, vs. Ancajas would likely play out big in the Philippines where the two fighters are from, but it’s not a big fight for Las Vegas. Sultan is ranked No.1 by the International Boxing Federation, and he’s won his last five fights against John Riel Casimero, Sonny Boy Jono, Makazole Tete, Romel Oliveros and Tatsuya Ikemiu. They say Sultan has improved since losing to Go Onaga, Jonathan Francisco and Rolando Servania. There’s no way of knowing for sure if that’s the case without him fighting those guys.

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The 2008 Olympian Yafai will be looking to make his third successful defense of his WBA World 115 lb. title against Carmona. Yafai, 28, won his WBA strap in defeating Luis Conception by a 12 round unanimous decision on December 10, 2016. Since that time, Yafai has defended the WBA title twice successfully in defeated Suguru Muranaka and Sho Ishida by 12 round decisions. Yafai looked good in beating Muranaka last year in May. In Yafai’s last defense against Sho Ishida, he didn’t look good at all in beating him by a 12 round decision.

Ancajas might be a little too powerful for Yafai to deal with. The southpaw Ancajas has heavy hands, and he’s a very good body puncher. He looked good in his last four fights in defeating Israel Gonzalez, Jamie Conlan, Teiru Kinoshita and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez. Before those wins, Ancajas beat McJoe Arroyo by a 12 round decision.

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