Will the "Pretty Boy" make it on Super Fly?
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: February 03, 2018
In September of 2017, premium cable network HBO and Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions put on a highly successful event called “SuperFly.” The card featured the best super flyweights (115) in the sport including fighters like Roman Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs), Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KOs), Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KOs) and Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs). The event was a critical success, and a sequel called “SuperFly 2” will take place on February 24th. That night Rungvisai will face Estrada for the WBC and Ring Magazine super flyweight championships.
Since the first “SuperFly” show, Inoue has moved up to the bantamweight (118) division and Gonzalez is no longer considered as the elite in the division after being brutally knocked out by Rungvisai in their rematch. With “SuperFly 2” on the horizon, there is one fighter in the division that is noticeably missing from the card. That fighter is IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KOs).
Ancajas, who is a native of the Philippines, is the first world champion to be promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions. Last July, on the undercard of Pacquiao’s controversial bout against Jeff Horn in Australia, Ancajas scored an impressive and dominating stoppage over Japan’s Teiru Kinoshita (26-2-1, 19 KOs). This performance led Ancajas’ to being signed by Top Rank.
This weekend Ancajas will make the fourth defense of his title on a card in Corpus Christi, Texas that will be televised on ESPN. The 26-year old Filipino will defend his title against Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez (21-1, 8 KOs). The fight will be Ancaja’s debut in the United States. Since winning the IBF title against Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo in 2016, Ancajas has been riding a wave of momentum putting in spectacular performances. Last November, Ancajas traveled to Northern Ireland to take on Jamie Conlan (19-1, 11 KOs). Ancajas dominated Conlan, dropping him in the first, third, fourth and sixth rounds before the fight was stopped in the sixth.
Last year, Top Rank announced a deal with ESPN that saw a mass exodus of their fighters from HBO. This development makes it unlikely that Ancajas will be featured on an event like “SuperFly” on HBO. According to Top Rank’s CEO Bob Arum, Ancajas is headed in a different direction.
Out of the top super flyweights, Ancajas is currently the youngest. This leaves plenty of time to build Ancajas into a more prominent attraction allowing him to separate himself from the shadow of Pacquiao. There have been other top Filipino fighters in this era such as Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes, but neither one gained even close to the notoriety that Pacquiao achieved. Ancajas may not be on “SuperFly” as of now, but the road he has chosen to take could lead to more significant opportunities.
(Feature Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)