The supposed unification match between Jerwin Ancajas and Kazuto Ioka is now off the radar.
MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons said the Ancajas-Ioka is unlikely to happen as of now following the defeat of the long-time IBF junior-bantamweight champion against Argentine foe Fernando Martinez last Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"At this time, probably not. We're (Ancajas) not the champion, Ioka wants to fight the champion," said Gibbons in an interview with Playitright TV.
"Our only thing is we're gonna discuss the rematch (against Martinez). And if we don't do that, then we'll figure out what the next step is. But unfortunately, for now, the Ioka fight is off the table."
Before fighting Martinez, Ancajas was initially scheduled to face Ioka on New Year's Eve but was canceled due to travel restrictions of the Japanese government brought by the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Ioka had defended his WBO super-flyweight title against compatriot Ryoji Fukunaga on the same day while Ancajas was preparing for his next big match.
The MP Promotions boxer eventually suffered a beatdown against Martinez, who leveled his inside boxing with precise uppercuts and power punching and overflowing stamina.
Ancajas' six-year reign came to an end since capturing the IBF junior-bantamweight belt in September 2016 against McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico.
But the long-time IBF king is willing to take on Martinez once more, especially since their contract has a rematch clause included.
"Kung sakali pong maglaban kami ulit, mas gagalingan ko pa po. Alam ko magaling si Martinez at sa susunod tiyak na gagawin namin 'yong lahat para makuha namin 'yong championship (I vow to fight better the next time we meet. I know Martinez is good but I will make sure to do better and our team will do my best to get back the championship)," said Ancajas, who sustained his second defeat with 33 wins on top 22 knockouts and two draws, in a post-match interview with veteran commentator and sportscaster Jim Gray.
Martinez, a 2016 Rio Olympian, for his part, remained undefeated in 14 matches with eight KOs.