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Ancajas vs. Sultan and Yafai vs. Carmona – weigh-in results


By Chris Williams: IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, challenger Jonas Sultan, WBA 115lb champion Khalid Yafai and David Carmona all weighed on Friday for their fight this Saturday night on ESPN at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, California. The card will be televised on ESPN+ on Top Rank Boxing. Card starts at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Ancajas will be making his fifth defense of his International Boxing Federation 115lb strap against a good opponent in 26-year-old Sultan. The southpaw Ancajas has the power advantage in this match-up, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to win. Sultan has been fighting similarly powerful punchers lately and beating them. For Ancajas to win this fight, he’s going to have be smart because he won’t win on landing his single left hands.

Ancajas is compared to Manny Pacquiao, but he’s nothing like him. The similarities start and end with the fact that they’re both southpaws and come from the Philippines. That’s the only thing they have in common. Pacquiao was much faster in his prime, and more of a combination puncher. Ancajas has slower hand speed, and he throws mostly single punches. Ancajas likes to throw body shots, and he’s one of the best body punchers in the 115lb weight class.

Ancajas doesn’t possess the same kind of punching power as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, but he still has respectable power. Ancajas is a bigger puncher than Roman Gonzalez and possibly Carlos Cuadras as well. Ancajas doesn’t throw combinations the way those two guys do. That’s why it would be difficult for Ancajas to defeat Gonzalez and Cuadras. Those guys are capable of doing a lot more than Ancajas can. I think it would be a mistake for Top Rank to let Ancajas fight an in shape Cuadras and a motivated Gonzalez. I don’t think he beats either of them.

It’s pretty good deal for fans that want to see a couple of good fights. The undercard is a mixed bag though. Once you get past the Ancajas-Sultan and Yafai-Carmona fights, there are a lot of less than thrilling match-ups unfortunately.

Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) weighed in at 114.8 pounds, and his mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) weighed in at 114.4 lbs. Both guys looked good. This is a must-win situation for the 26-year-old Ancajas, who his promoters at Top Rank are trying to mold into a star. It’s not easy turning fighters into stars even in best times, but it’d doubly tough when you’ve got someone that isn’t being matched against the dangerous fighters in the division. Top Rank hasn’t put Ancajas in any of the SuperFly cards, which is unfortunate because he could have fought the likes of Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, Carlos Cuadras and McWilliams Arroyo. But perhaps it’s not bad thing that Ancajas wasn’t added to those cards, because if he lost to any of those guys, he’d have no chance no chance of becoming a star.

In other weigh-in results on the card, WBA World super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) weighed in at 114.8 lbs. for his fight against former world title challenger David Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs). For his part, Carmona weighed in 3.6 pounds over the 115 lb. weigh-in limit for the super flyweight division. Because of that, Yafai’s WBA 115lb title won’t be up for grabs on Saturday night. If Yafai wins, he keeps his WBA belt. If he loses to Carmona, then the WBA strap falls vacant. It’s the usual thing that happens when a challenger misses weight.

This fight arguably should have never been made. Carmona, 27, has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights. Carmona coming in 3.6lbs overweight for the fight is what Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn gets for picking such a poor opponent for him to fight. When you select fighters with three defeats in their last four fights to challenge your fighter for his WBA super flyweight title, this is what you get. Perhaps if Hearn had scheduled Yafai, 28, against one of the top 10 contenders that doing better career-wise, then maybe they would have made weight.

”He’s going to make a good statement and people are going to start talking about him fighting the likes of Ancajas, Rungvisai and you’ve also got the likes of Estrada and Roman Gonzalez,” Hearn said to about Yafai.

Boxing fans have already been calling for Yafai to fight Roman Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Ancajas for quite some time. This isn’t something that will suddenly begin after Saturday night when they see Ancajas and Yafai on the same card. Eddie has been lagging in matching Yafai against those fighters, because the fans wanted to see him against them well over a year ago.

Ancajas has the far better opponent facing him in Jonas Sultan than Yafai does against Carmona, who is arguably a journeyman at this point of his career. Hearn could have done much better than this in selecting an opponent for Yafai to fight. Hearn likely justifies the selection of Carmona in the fact that two of his recent defeats came at the hands of Naoya Inoue and Carlos Cuadras, but that still doesn’t explain away his recent loss to Daniel Lozano (15-4, 11 KOs). That guy has three defeats in his last five fights, and he’s no world beater. Carmona losing to Lozano shows clearly that he doesn’t belong in the top 15, and he doesn’t deserve a title shot against Yafai with 3 losses in his last 4 fights.

“All of the champions are targets. Sooner or later he’s going to jump in with a champion,” Hearn said about Yafai.

Yafai should try cutting his teeth against Rungvisai. Hearn could then see what he has with him. I don’t think it would go well at all for Yafai. He’s not that type of a fighter.

If Ancajas and Yafai both win their fights on Saturday, they are supposed to fight each other in a unification fight later this year. That’ll be an excellent fight, and the first true test of Ancajas’ career. Hearn wants to see how Yafai does against Ancajas and the other champions. I don’t think Yafai will get past Ancajas, but you never know. If Yafai can out-slick Ancajas, then there’s a chance he can beat him. Yafai didn’t look good in his last fight in beating Sho Ishida by a 12 round unanimous decision on October 28. Yafai won by the sores 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112. The more reliable scores were the 116-112 scores. Yafai won, but it wasn’t one-sided and one didn’t get the sense that he could beat the better fighters in the weight class. Yafai looked like he was just barely better than Ishida.

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