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Filipino fighters brace for busy 2024

Jerwin Ancajas gets the opportunity to become a world champion next month in Tokyo. | PHOTOGRAPH by Nick Giongco for the Daily Tribune

Filipino boxers are eager to bounce back in 2024 following a heartbreaking campaign in the year that just passed.

In fact, Jerwin Ancajas will kick off the hostilities on 24 February in Tokyo in what looks like a very winnable title challenge.

Ancajas battles Takuma Inoue, who will make the first defense of the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.

Takuma is the younger brother of reigning undisputed world super-bantamweight king Naoya, who recently beat Marlon Tapales for all the major belts.

Sean Gibbons, who runs the affairs of the vast majority of world-rated Filipino boxers, is also pinning his hopes on bantamweights Vincent Astrolabio and Reymart Gaballo, minimumweight Pedro Taduran, super-feather Mark Magsayo.

Astrolabio has positioned himself as the prime challenger for the World Boxing Council title being held by Mexican Alejandro Santiago.

Gaballo is also on doing the same thing over at the World Boxing Organization backyard.

“Astrolabio fighting for the world title in June while Reymart (Gaballo) will get his turn in June or July,” Gibbons told DAILY TRIBUNE.

Taduran, recent winner of compatriot Jake Amparo in a title elimination match before the end of the year, should be vying for a world title again in June or July, according to Gibbons.

The resurgent Mark Magsayo, now fighting in the super-feather ranks, should also be figuring in a title fight as early as May.

Magsayo issued a strong statement in his 130-lb debut early December by flattening Isaac Avelar with a single punch.

The blueprint for 2024 was presented by Gibbons to MP Promotions owner Manny Pacquiao in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve.

Though not yet in line for a world title shot this year, Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Eumir Marcial is also being prioritized by Gibbons and Pacquiao.

Marcial is revving up for his stint in the 2024 Paris Olympics and a fifth professional fight is in the offing for the power-punching Zamboanga City native, an appearance aimed at helping him ramp up his chances for a podium finish.

Also on Gibbons’ radar screen is rising and undefeated super-bantam Carl Jammes Martin, who will be given three fights in the United States as part of his program for a world title crack in 2025.




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