*FRESNO, Calif. (April 30, 2018)* – Two of the world’s most dynamic
115-pound talents — on a collision course to a potential title unification
bout — will take center stage at the Save Mart Center on the first *Top
Rank on ESPN *world championship card on ESPN+, Saturday, May 26 at 9:30
Filipino standout Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas will defend the International
Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world title in the main event
against countryman Jonas Sultan. 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.
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. Soon-to-be announced undercard bouts, including appearances by
welterweight contender Jose Benavidez and Central Valley products Bryan Lua
and Isidro Ochoa, will be shown on ESPN+ starting at 6:30 p.m. ET.
The Ancajas vs. Sultan / Yafai vs. Carmona world championship doubleheader
will be streamed live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ — the first-ever
multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The
Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International group
and ESPN. ESPN+ is available to all fans on the ESPN App and ESPN.com.
Fans can watch Ancajas vs. Sultan / Yafai vs. Carmona, hundreds of other
boxing matches per year, other *Top Rank on ESPN* content and thousands of
other live events by subscribing to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99
per year). To subscribe, fans simply download or open the ESPN App or visit
ESPNPlus.com and subscribe. Fans can stream on the ESPN App on mobile and
TV-connected devices and on ESPN.com.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions, Big Al Presents,
Joven Sports, and Matchroom Boxing USA, special ticket on-sale information
will be announced soon.
“I am so glad and very grateful that I was given an opportunity to fight
Jonas Sultan,” Ancajas said. “We are given a chance to display our talents
on a world stage, two Filipinos fighting for a world title. This is
history, and our names will be linked forever.”
“I can’t wait to make my U.S. debut. It’s something I’ve always wanted to
do since I laced them up,” Yafai said. “This is the right time to do it.
Everyone wants to fight in America at some stage in their career, and this
is the right moment for me to announce myself in the States. I know people
will talk about the Jerwin Ancajas fight, of course, but Carmona is the man
in front of me, and he’s all I’m thinking about. I have to look good
against Carmona, but I know that the Ancajas fight is something that can
happen down the line in the States or in England.”
Ancajas (27-1-1,19 KOs), from Barangay Ramirez, Magallanes, Cavite,
Philippines, will be making the fifth defense of the world title he won on
Sept. 3, 2016 in Taguig City, Philippines, when he knocked down the
previously undefeated McJoe Arroyo in the eighth round en route to a
unanimous decision. Ancajas made his U.S. and Top Rank debut as the
co-feature to the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed bout on a *Top Rank on
ESPN *card, Feb. 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas. On that night, Ancajas
steamrolled Israel Gonzalez, knocking him down three times and scoring a 10
One of the most devastating punchers in the lighter weight classes, Ancajas
is 15-0 with 14 knockouts since his only loss, a 10-round majority decision
to Mark Geraldo on March 17, 2012. He has defended his title in Australia,
Northern Ireland, and Macao, a world traveler intent on staking his claim
as the top fighter in the loaded 115-pound weight class.
Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs), ranked No. 1 by the IBF, is coming off the biggest
victory of his career, when he knocked out former two-division champion
John Riel Casimero on Sept. 16, 2017 in Cebu City, Philippines. He has won
five in a row, four by knockout, since a 10-round unanimous decision loss
to Go Onaga on Nov. 15, 2015. A native of Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte,
Philippines, Sultan lost two split decisions in his first six pro fights.
Like Ancajas, he has won several fights in his opponents’ home countries,
including a 2016 second-round TKO over Makazole Tete in East London, South
Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs), from Birmingham, England, turned pro in 2012
following an accomplished amateur career, winning eight fights in his first
eight months in the paid ranks. On March 21, 2014, he stopped Yaqub Kareem
in the third round to win the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight title.
Yafai won the British super flyweight title in March 2016 and soon set his
sights on a world crown.
On Dec. 10, 2016, Yafai dominated Luis Concepcion via unanimous decision,
winning the WBA belt and becoming Birmingham’s first world champion in 109
years. In his most recent title defense, Yafai turned back a tough
challenge from Sho Ishida, winning a unanimous decision by scores of
118-110 and 116-112 (2x).
Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs), from Mexico City, will be making his third attempt
at a world title at 115 pounds. In 2013, he fell to longtime WBO champion
Omar Narvaez via seventh-round TKO. And, in 2016, he dropped a unanimous
decision to pound-for-pound elite Naoya Inoue, who’d knocked out Narvaez to
win the title. On March 10, 2017, he lost a disputed unanimous decision to
former WBC super flyweight champion Carlos Cuadras. In his last bout, on March
2 of this year, he scored a fourth-round TKO over Jesus Iribe in Mexico