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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson

Ancajas off to Thailand

By Joaquin Henson
05 Oct 2018

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will be at ringside when WBC counterpart Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand stakes his crown against Mexico’s Iran Diaz at the Impact Arena in Pak Kret, 17 kilometers from Bangkok, tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 6). Joining Ancajas in witnessing the fight will be his manager/trainer Joven Jimenez and Las Vegas-based international matchmaker Sean Gibbons. After the bout, they will go to Manila to plan out the next step in moving Ancajas’ career forward.

Jimenez said Ancajas may be moving up to the 118-pound bantamweight division sooner than later. Last week, Ancajas and Mexican challenger Alejandro Santiago battled to a split 12-round draw at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, allowing the Filipino to retain the IBF title. Although it appeared that Ancajas had done enough to win the decision in his sixth championship defense, he wasn’t his usual dominating self. Ancajas knocked out his first four challengers then went the distance in outpointing Jonas Sultan and also endured the full route in the Santiago fight.

Ancajas had no difficulty making weight for Santiago and scaled 115.6 pounds the day before the weigh-in. At the weigh-in, he scaled 114.2 and in the morning of the fight, 128.8. It’s possible Ancajas overdid his training to make weight too early, leaving his body dehydrated longer than usual and unable to recover in a day. During the fight, Ancajas cramped in the legs and wasn’t as quick on his feet or hands. However, he refused to make excuses after the fight and never mentioned cramping to media until days later.

Jimenez said he has hired cooks and a dietician to prepare meals for Ancajas at the training facility in Magallanes, Cavite, where the champion lives with his family. But on lawyer Bobbet Bruce’s advice, Jimenez said he will consult with scientific nutritionist Jeaneth Aro on a meal plan for Ancajas. Aro is the ABAP national boxing team’s nutrition coach.

“Mukhang nahirapan na si Jerwin sa 115,” said Jimenez. “Sabi ni Jerwin, balak na niyang umakyat sa 118 at i-surrender yung korona niya.” But Ancajas said if Rungvisai agrees to a unification showdown, he’ll stay in the superflyweight division for one more fight against the Thai. Jimenez said he will discuss Ancajas’ future plans with Gibbons when they meet in Thailand.

Rungvisai, 31, will make the third defense of the WBC crown he wrested on a majority 12-round decision from Nicaragua’s Chocolatito Gonzalez at Madison Square Garden in New York City in March last year. The Thai knocked out Gonzalez in the fourth round in a rematch at the StubHub Center in Carson City six months later. In his second title defense, Rungvisai kept the throne on a majority 12-round verdict over Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada at the Forum in Inglewood last February. Rungvisai’s record is 46-4-1, with 41 KOs compared to Diaz’ 14-2-3, with 6 KOs. Diaz has been stopped by Mexico’s Juan Hernandez in 2015 and France’s Nordine Qubaali in Paris in 2016. He hasn’t lost in his last four outings although he’s coming off a third round technical draw with Adolfo Castillo in Monterrey last June.

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