By Chris Williams: Despite coming off an unimpressive 12 round draw last Saturday night, IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will be at ringside this Saturday night, October 6 to scout out WBC 115 pound champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in his title defense against #12 WBC Iran Diaz at Impact Arena in Pak Kret, Thailand.
Ancajas, 26, wants to face Rungvisai in a unification fight if he wins his fight against Diaz.
Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 KOs), who is promoted by Top Rank, may be barking up the wrong tree in going after a fighter like Rungvisai This is a major step up for the Filipino fighter Ancajas, who is co-promoted by Manny Pacquiao Promotions. Ancajas has unfinished business with his last opponent Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-5, 7 KOs), who he fought to a 12 round draw last Saturday night at the Oracle Arena, in Oakland, California. The judges scored the fight 116-112 for Ancajas, 118-111 for Diaz, and 114-114. Boxing News 24 scored the fight for Barrios by the score 118-111. He had Ancajas’ number with his work rate and aggressiveness.
The timing for Ancajas to be looking to take on Ancajas is bad. It’s unclear what Manny Pacquiao and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum feel about the idea of Ancajas facing the 31-year-old Rungvisai. It would be interesting to know if they think this is a good idea. Frankly, I think there’s nothing good that could come of Ancajas tangling with a fighter like Rungvisai right now. Rungvisai is like an angry bear, and you don’t want to be messing around with him right now if you’re Ancajas or anyone in the super flyweight division. Fighters that should be targeting Rungvisai are bigger guys from the bantamweight division like Emmanuel Rodriguez or Zolani Tete. The super flyweights are going to have problems with Rungvisai due to his huge punching power. Estrada ran from Rungvisai for most of the fight, and even then, he took terrible punishment to the body and head. Ancajas isn’t a runner, so it could end badly for him if he faces Rungvisai.
Rungvisai (46-4-1, 41 KOs) is considered the best fighter in the super flyweight division now that Naoya Inoue has departed the division to seek out bigger things at bantamweight. Some people believed that Rungvisai might have even beaten Inoue had he stuck around and shown interest in fighting him. After having done very little with his career in the first eight years of his career, Rungvisai had a break out year in 2017 in defeating WBC 115 pound champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez twice.
Rungvisai’s narrow 12 round majority decision win over Chocolatito in their first fight in March of 2017 was considered a controversial one by boxing fans. However, Rungvisai left no doubt in the rematch in knocking Gonzalez out in the 4th round in their rematch in September 2014 in knocking the former four division world champion down twice in stopping him. Rungvisai followed that win up with an impressive 12 round majority decision win over former WBA/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada (37-3, 25 KOs) last February at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The fight was a lot more one-sided than the scoring would have you believe. Rungvisai dominated Estrada with power punching most of the fight and appeared to win 9 rounds to 3. Estrada was the fan favorite in fighting in front of a pro-Estrada crowd in Inglewood, which may have influenced the judges with their cheering for him.
Rungvisai is another HBO fighter who will be looking for a home soon to have his fights televised in the U.S. HBO will no longer be televising boxing after 2018, and this leaves guys like Rungvisai, Gennady Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez in search of a network to have their fights shown to the American boxing fans. Rungvisai will likely be highly sought after by the likes of ESPN, DAZN, Fox and Showtime.