Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs. Jerwin Ancajas possible for Feb. or Mar.
By Jim Dower: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says a unification fight is in the works between IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai next year for February or March in the United States.
Arum says he recently had a meeting with Rungvisai’s promoter Tom Loeffer, and it was a productive meeting.
It’s unknown which platform will show the Rungvisai vs. Ancajas fight. Arum has a contract for his Top Rank fighters to be televised/streamed on ESPN. Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41 KOs) has had his fights recently televised on HBO. But with HBO getting out of boxing at the end of the year, it’s unknown whether Rungvisai, 31, will wind up having his fights shown in the U.S. It would make things easy for Arum if Loeffler signs an agree with ESPN, as it would enable the Rungvisai vs. Ancajas fight to be shown on that platform only without the squabble that could prevent the fight if they were fighting on different networks.
“It’s just a matter of knowing the date (and venue),” said Arum to the Manila Bulletin at sports.mb.com.ph.
It’s good news that Arum is sounding so concident that he’s going to be able to put the fight together, as a lot of boxing fans are highly interested in seeing Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KOs) and the 31-year-old Rungvisai go at it.
It might be a little too soon for the 26-year-old Ancajas to take on a fighter with the punching power and the talent of Rungvisai. Arum might be thinking that Ancajas’ popularity will be increased even in losing if he performs at a high enough level.
Rungvisai is a huge puncher with knockout wins over former #1 pound-for-pound king Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and a nice 12 round majority decision win over Juan Francisco Estrada last February in Los Angeles, California.
The odd man out is WBA super flyweight champion Kal Yafai, who has wanted a unification fight against the likes of Ancajas and Rungvisai for quite some time. What we don’t know is how Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing feels about putting him in with punchers like Rungvisai and Ancajas. It’s hard not to believe that Hearn is not eager to put Yafai in with Ancajas and Rungvisai right now. He’s still trying to build Yafai’s nae to turn him into a star. Maybe the winner of the Ringvisai vs. Ancajas fight will look Yafai’s way afterwards, as he has another title that they would want to go after.
With Arum having his Top Rank fighters televised on 30 shows per year on ESPN, it’s important that he supplies constant fights for the network. Arum needs big fights like Rungvisai vs. Ancajas to bring in the subscribers for the ESPN+ streaming service.
Rungvisai and Ancajas met up last October in Thailand to begin hyping their upcoming fight. The two want this fight despite one of them taking a big risk.
In a real shocker, Ancajas fought to a 12 round draw in his last fight against Alejandro Santiago (16-2-5, 7 KOs) on September 28 in Oakland, California. This was supposed to have been an easy win for Ancasjas, but instead he was lucky to escape from the fight with win. There’s no word why Top Rank isn’t putting Ancajas back in with Santiago so that he could prove that the draw was just a fluke thing to his boxing fans. It’s possible that they might not feel confident that Ancajas can beat the tough a nails Santiago.
Rungvisai defeated the always tough Iran Diaz by a one-sided 12 round unanious decision last month on October 6 in Thailand. Ancajas had too much punching power for Diaz to compete with him.