By Nick Giongco
FRESNO, California – Promoter Michael Aldeguer swore that he felt kind of sick at the thought of seeing two Filipinos battle for a world title.
Aldeguer, who operates one of the Philippines’ leading promotional outfits, even came up with the perfect word to describe the pairing: taboo.
But as time went by, Aldeguer realized that while it looked awkward to see such a fighting taking place, he looked at it differently.
Four days before history unfolds with Jerwin Ancajas staking the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight title against mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan at the Save Mart Center, Aldeguer is oozing with excitement.
“I felt this was not going to happen,” said Aldeguer, stressing that fight fans are eagerly awaiting the scheduled 12-round clash for the IBF 115lb throne.
“A fight people have been waiting for. Something we thought that it wouldn’t happen because nobody wanted to see two Filipinos (fighting).”
Aldeguer said the fact that Ancajas and Sultan are about to square is proof that “Filipino fighters have arrived.”
This weekend’s match will only be the second time that two Filipinos are squaring off with a world championship on the line after Pancho Villa beat Clever Sencio in Manila in 1923.
But instead of looking the other way, Aldeguer welcomed the idea of sending his fighter Sultan into battle with one of boxing’s fastest rising stars.
“Jonas is always a confident fighter. This guy is for real,” he said.
Sultan (14-3 with nine KOs) is the clear underdog against Ancajas (29-1 with 20 KOs), who is making the fifth defense of the title he had won in 2016.