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Ancajas-Ioka fight in peril



JERWIN Ancajas is in danger of missing his fight with Kazuto Ioka after Japan imposed a travel ban. / PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ASIAN FIGHT SCENE

No official word from the Japanese promoter has been relayed to the camp of world boxing champion Jerwin Ancajas, but it doesn’t look as if the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion will be travelling to Tokyo anytime soon for the 31 December unification clash with World Boxing Organization ruler Kazuto Ioka.

Ancajas was eyeing to depart Los Angeles for the Japanese capital on 11 December so he can meet the Covid-related requirement and get used to the local conditions.

But with Japan imposing a travel ban on all foreigners owing to the Omicron variant for the rest of December, it doesn’t appear the Ancajas-Ioka showdown is going to push through.

Sean Gibbons, whose MP Promotions is representing Ancajas and is serving as one of the promoters of the show booked to happen at the 4,000-seater New Ota City Gymnasium, wants to know the real score.

“I will be checking with them soonest,” Gibbons told Daily Tribune.

The Ancajas-Ioka battle was formally announced last week with Ioka even headlining a press conference and hyping the fight while holding a photo of Ancajas.

Ancajas has been staying in Los Angeles since August hoping to secure a marquee matchup with some of the 115-lb division’s big guns.

The Ioka battle is going to be Ancajas’ tenth defense of the crown he had won back in September 2016.

Japan stages a big boxing show on New Year’s Eve as part of its tradition.

But with the new Covid variant threatening the world anew, chances are slim that the event will proceed as scheduled.

The last time Ancajas, a southpaw, fought was in April in Connecticut where he narrowly escaped defeat after scoring a unanimous decision over scrappy Mexican challenger Jonatan Rodriguez.

Ioka repulsed Francisco Rodriguez, also of Mexico, in his last outing a few months ago.