In early May we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) defending hit title against mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一], from Japan.
Today Funai took part in a public work out for the press in Japan.
At the work out Funai revealed that he has done 150 rounds of sparring to prepare for this bout, sharing the ring with Junto Nakatani and Rey Orais among others, and has been spending time getting rounds against southpaws, to prepare for the style and stance of Ancajas.
Funai seems to be fully aware that he is the under-dog and but stated that he will do everything, likely knowing this could be his one and only shot at a world title. He also added that he was expecting his shot to come later in the year, though the bout has come earlier and he certainly didn't complain about that.
Describing Ancajas, Funai stated he was "a well-balanced fighter who can hit the counter with a sense and aggressiveness". Then added that he “will come forward without fear of the opponent's punch”.
As for today's actual work out, the main focus was a 3 round spar with former amateur standout Shisui Kawabata (1-0, 1) [川畑嗣穂], after the spar there was also mitt work.
The fighter is still 4KG's over the Super Flyweight limit and will be leaving for the US on March 28th, giving him just over a week to adapt to US conditions ahead of the fight with the champion.
(Image courtesy of boxingnews.jp)
Last week we reported that several Filipino sites had had been reporting that the IBF Super Flyweight bout between Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) and mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] was set for May 4th. Today that date was indeed confirmed, as the Funai camp took part in a press conference to announce the bout.
The press conference was held by Funai and Watanabe gym president Hitoshi Watanabe.
The fighter speak about being confidence, and that he had trained hard since earning a world title fight last year, when he won an eliminator.
Funai spoke about the champion being an aggressive fighter, and seemed to realise he was going to have to fight as the counter puncher, later adding "it was a dream to be a world champion and to play in the United States. I am excited.
With Ancajas being a southpaw a lot of focus was put on that issue at today's event, though Funai sounded pretty comfortable with southpaws, explaining "I am not particularly bad at it (fighting southpaws). The right straight is better than when I am with a right-handed player."
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
Multiple Filipino sources have began reporting that the date for the IBF Super Flyweight title bout, between champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) and mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] will take place in Stockton on May 4th, on the same show as Artur Beterbiev's next defense of the IBF Light Heavyweight title.
For Ancajas the bout serves as his 7th defense of the IBF Super Flyweight title, and win or lose it could end up being his last one with real talk emerging that he will abandon the Super Flyweight division following the bout due to issues making weight. It seems that he is well above the limit at the moment, and is working his way into shape.
Ancajas is unbeaten since since 2012, going 17-0-1, and has scored notable wins over the likes of McJoe Arroyo, Teiru Kinoshita, Jonas Sultan and Jamie Conlan. He's not faced the top tier in the division, and has seen fans turn away from him as a result of some disappointing performances.
Funai on the other hand will be getting his first world title fight, and fighting outside of Japan for the first time. He will be coming in to the contest on the back of 7 straight wins, including victories over Kenta Nakagawa, Warlito Parrenas and Victor Emmanuel Olivo.
The Super Flyweight division, for years, was out of sight, out of mind for US fight fans. In the last few years however the division has become a bit of a staple on US TV, with almost all the major players now linked to one of the big US distribution channels, PBC, DAZN or ESPN.
With such interest from the US it should little surprise to hear that Top Rank have confirmed that IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20), from the Philippines, will be defending his title against mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一] in the US.
At the moment the date and venue haven't been announced, though its expected to be taking place in April.
The bout will be Ancajas's 7th defense whilst Funai will be fighting outside of Japan for the first time in his career.
According to sources in Thailand Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41) [ศรีสะเกษ นครหลวงโปรโมชั่น], aka Wisaksil Wangek, will be back in action in February in what will be a tune up bout.
According to the sources the WBC Super Flyweight champion is expected to be fighting on February 8th in a tune up bout, in Thailand, before moving onto a mandatory title defense against former foe Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3, 26) in the US.
At the moment it's unclear when that title defense would take place, though it seems likely that it will take place on DAZN with multiple sources suggesting that Tom Leoffler will take all of his boxers to the new streaming service, including the likes of with Gennady Golovkin and Kazuto Ioka.
Potentially the rematch with Estrada could take place on a future "Superfly" show or, alternatively, as a supporting bout for the recently announced Middleweight super-fight between Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, which will draw a large Mexican fan base who would support Estrada.
Sadly it appears the hopes of Srisaket and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) to have a unification bout have fallen through, for now at least, with both expected to have mandatory title defenses, before any possible unification bout. Both teams had looked at arranging a unification fight for March, but negotiations didn't go as quickly as hoped, and instead both will have mandatory title defenses.
For Srisaket the mandatory, as mentioned, is Estrada whilst Ancajas' will be Japanese fighter Ryuichi Funai (31-7, 22) [船井 龍一], who earned the shot late last year on a card shown on Boxing Raise. It's worth noting that Funai was recently seen in a Japanese ring, as part of ceremony and not a fight, and seemed to suggest that he was actively pursuing his mandatory title fight, which is also expected to take place in the US.
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