Earlier today saw the news that Kazakh hopeful Askhat Ualikhanov (3-1, 2) [Уалиханов Асхат] would be returning to the ring on September 28th. Not only that but that his opponent for that bout would be 27 year old American fighter Angel Hernandez (13-10-2 8 KOs).
The Kazakh, who lost his debut with DQ, will be looking to score a 4th straight but is stepping up in a big way.
Ualikhanov is a 27 year old southpaw who has been matched very softly so far. Despite that he is tipped for success and has been signed by Top Rank, who will be promoting the show on the 28th. He is also one of two Kazakh's one the card, along with the touted Janibek Alimkhanuly (2-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы], who will be up against Carlos Galvan (16-7-1, 15).
Hernandez on the other hand is an out of form fighter, who has failed to win any of his last 4 bouts. Despite going 0-3-1 in that run he has mixed with good company, including unbeaten prospect Andy Vences and Darwin Price. He has never been stopped, is experienced and should give Ualikhanov some real questions to answer.
The main event of this card will see Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20) make his next defense of the IBF Super Flyweight title, as he takes on Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-4, 7). The bouts with the Kazakhs are expected to both be shown on ESPN+ in the US
(Image courtesy of sports.kz)
Earlier this year former amateur standout Janibek Alimkhanuly (2-0, 1) [Жанибек Алимханулы], name also transcribed as Zhanibek Alimkhanuly, announced that he was retiring from amateur boxing.
Since then Alikhanuly has been busy out of the ring, signing various deals to help guide his professional career which is now set to kick off properly on September 28th in California.
The 2013 World Amateur Champion, who also competed at the 2016 Olympics and 2015 World Championships, officially began his professional career back in October 2016. On debut, in Kazakhstan, he stopped Milton Nunez inside a round. It was almost a year later before he returned to the professional ring, defeating Gilberto Pereira dos Santos last September.
Back then Alimkhanuly was fighting as both as professional and as an amateur. That changed in January when he hung up the amateur vest and thanked his amateur team. At the team it seemed likely he was turning professional but little was set in stone. Since then he has relocated to the US and signed with manager Egis Klimas, trainer Buddy McGirt and promoter Bob Arum.
After a few months in the US news finally broke of Alimkhanuly's US debut, which is now set to take place on September 28th in Oakland, California. That Will see Alimkhanuly fight on the under-card of Jerwin Ancajas' (30-1-1, 20) IBF Super Flyweight title defense against Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-4, 7).
At the moment of Alimkhanuly's opponent for the bout hasn't been revealed, though we're not expecting anyone too testing for the fighter, as he'll likely be looking to make an impression on American fans who may be watching in the arena or on ESPN+ who are now expected to broadcast the contest.
Over the last few years we have seen the Super Flyweight division really reinvent it's self, transforming from a division with a focus on Asian and Latin American fans, with only a small hardcore Western fan base, into a division with a British champion, a series of themed American shows and a Filipino world champion who is becoming a staple on American TV. The way the division has really exploded internationally, helped by Nicaraguan great Roman Gonzalez, has been brilliant though unfortunately it's seen a few less than amazing bouts, and they may be set to continue.
One of the divisions most notable fighters, and most naturally talented, is is IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20), who claimed the title in 2016 with an upset win over McJoe Arroyo and impressed on the big stage when he defeated Teiru Kinoshita in 2017 in Australia. Sadly since then he has failed to really build on that success with wins against less than great challengers like Jamie Conlan and Israel Gonzalez as well as a 1-sided mandatory defense earlier this year against Jonas Sultan. We can't complain too much about the mandatory title fights but his decision to face Conlan and Gonzalez did little to enhance his reputation whilst fighters like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras, McWilliams Arroyo and Juan Francisco Estrada have all been mixing among themselves on the Superfly shows.
Ancajas is now set to make the next defense of his IBF title, and again we'll see him in with a less than stellar opponent with the Filipino set to share the ring with 22 year old Mexican Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-4, 7), who is an unfit opponent for any world class Super Flyweight. His record has only three bouts of note, and they have been draws with the Mexican being held even by Antonio Nieves, who was beaten into submission by Naoya Inoue, and Jose Martinez, twice.
Whilst it's unfair to suggest that Ancajas should be fighting the guys who have signed up to the HBO series of "Superfly" shows, due to the contractual issues, there is far better competition out there for Ancajas, including fellow champion Kal Yafai (24-0, 15), who seemed the logical next opponent, or Japanese contenders Ryuichi Funai (30-7, 21) [船井 龍一] and Sho Ishida (26-1, 15) [石田 匠].
The bout between Ancajas and Santiago has been pencilled in for September 29th with the rest of the card expected to be revealed shortly.
Later today we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) defending his title against Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9) in the first all-Filipino world title fight in 93 years. The bout is a highly anticipated one, and despite being a mandatory title defense is actually one of the better bouts made by IBF for their champions, unlike other mandatory mismatches like Ancajas's 2017 bout against Teiru Kinoshita, which always seemed liek a mismatch.
Despite beign an interesting contest it is worth noting that the bookies see it as being pretty one sided. The champion is priced at 1/5 to retain his title with a victory over his countryman, whilst Sultan 51/10 with one UK bookmaker, whilst the draw is available as high as 25/1.
The "To Win" market isn't the only one available for this particular bout isn't the only one available on this bout. There is also a method of victory market. The most likely outcome, according to the bookies, is a decision win for Ancajas, with that result priced at 19/29. A stoppage for the champion is 11/4, which is saying a lot about Sultan's toughness given that Ancajas has stopped 15 of his last 16 foes. Sultan to win by stoppage is a huge 14/1 whilst you can get a massive 20/1 on Sultan to win by decision.
Given the odds on a stoppage a stoppage by either man are quite low it shoudl come as no surprise to learn the bout is expected to go the distance, with odds of 4/7 on the bout going the 12 scheduled rounds, compared to 15/8 on the bout to be stopped inside the distance.
Related - Ancajas to face Sultan in all-Filipino IBF title fight!
Later today we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20) make his 4th defense, and battle in the first all-Filipino world title fight in over 90 years, as he faces Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9) in the US.
Yesterday the two men took part in their weigh in and both fighters made the Super Flyweight limit with some room to spare.
On the sclaes the champion was 114.8lbs and looked great on the scales of confidence. Suyltan on the other hand was a little bit lighter at 114.4lbs, though looked in equally impressive shape.
The bout will be the first all-Filipino world title fight since 1925, when Pancho Villa defended the world Flyweight title against Clever Sencio.
At the weigh in Ancajas stated the bout would be a fierce one whilst Sultan stated he had studied Ancajas and that he had dreamed of being a world champion since he was a child. It seems both men are confident here, and both are likely to fight with passion than we typically see from them, given the historic nature of the bout.
Related- Ancajas to face Sultan in all-Filipino IBF title fight!
(Image courtesy of Mikey Williams / Top Rank)
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