Boxing: Focused on world title, challenger Jonas Sultan sacrifices time with family

ABS-CBN Sports on May 18, 2018 11:48 AM
Focused on world title, Sultan sacrifices time with family
"Talagang sakripisyo talaga, yung pamilya ko na malayo ako sa kanila, kasi naka-focus ako sa world title. Eto yung chance, hindi ko ito ibibigay." - Jonas Sultan

With just a little over a week to go before the biggest fight of his young career, Jonas Sultan is more than ready to make the most of his opportunity.

May 26th, Sultan, an up-and-coming talent out of the ALA Boxing Gym stable in Cebu, challenges reigning IBF Super Flyweight world champion Jerwin Ancajas at the Selland Arena in Fresno, California.

“Feeling ko kundisyon na ang katawan ko, reding-ready na ako sa darating na laban sa May 26.” a confident Sultan told Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN News.

More than just challenging for a world title for the first time, Sultan finds himself embedded in history along with Ancajas as the first two Filipino boxers to battle each other for a world title since 1925.

“Never did I think it would happen in any time,” said ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer. “People said we shouldn’t fight Filipino versus Filipino, but now it’s here. We’re very excited, this is for the country. Whoever wins is still a Filipino.”

Adding even more motivation for the 26-year old Sultan is the fact that he’s sacrificed so much for this bout, especially time with his family.

The Zamboanga del Norte native trains at the famed ALA Boxing Gym in Cebu, and has been in the US since the first week of May.

It’s been six months since he’s seen his wife and kids.

For Sultan, it’s the price to pay for the shot at his chosen field’s top prize.

“Para sa akin, motivation talaga.” said Sultan “Talagang sakripisyo talaga, yung pamilya ko na malayo ako sa kanila, kasi naka-focus ako sa world title. Eto yung chance, hindi ko ito ibibigay.”

It’s also a big help for the young Sultan to have a three-division world champion by his side.

Accompanying Sultan to the states was longest-reigning Filipino world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes, who’s also getting ready for a possible Pinoy-versus-Pinoy world title bout of his own against fellow Negrense Aston Palicte.

“To have Donnie on his side would help a lot,” Aldeguer said. “Donnie has been there, he’s been experienced in all the fights, in all wars for the past years.”

“He really, definitely helped Jonas.” Aldeguer added.

For Nietes, it’s all about sticking to the gameplan.

“Sa akin lang, focus [lang siya] sa kanyang laban, listen sa mga coach, cooperate sa mga instructions so mabuo yung gameplan nya.”

This will be the 14-3 Sultan’s first crack at a world championship, having defeated former champion Johnriel Casimero to earn the shot.

Ancajas on the other hand, a protege of Pinoy boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, will be gunning for his fifth-straight world title defense, having dispatched Israel Gonzales, Jamie Conlan, Teiru Kinoshita, and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in his previous defenses.


H/T: Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News 

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