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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



No unnecessary risks for Ancajas

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
03 May 2019



IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas has a lot of respect for Japanese challenger Ryuichi Funai and won’t take unnecessary risks when they clash in a scheduled 12-round bout at the 12,000-seat Stockton Arena in California tomorrow night (Sunday morning, Manila time). But trainer Joven Jimenez said yesterday if there’s a chance to go for a knockout, Ancajas will be ready to fire away.

“Ang plano namin palagi ay makaabot ng round,” said Jimenez, who left Manila with Ancajas and their traveling group for Stockton last week. “Bonus na lang kapag ma-knockout ni Jerwin. Matibay si Funai at malaki. Matangkad kay Jerwin at parang (Teiru) Kinoshita.” Jimenez’ reference to Kinoshita is ominous. In 2017, Ancajas demolished Kinoshita in the seventh round of his second title defense in Brisbane.

Ancajas said the difference between Funai and Kinoshita is their stance. Funai is right-handed while Kinoshita is a southpaw like himself. “Malakas ang kanyang straight at pag-tumama, bigla siyang susugod,” said Ancajas. “Mahirap na kalaban. Magalaw, may lakas pero kaya natin.”

It will be Ancajas’ seventh title defense since wresting the crown from Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo in Taguig in 2016. Ancajas, 27, is unbeaten in his last 18 fights, dating back to 2012 when he lost his only bout to Mark Anthony Geraldo on a majority decision in Lapu Lapu City. His record is 30-1-2, with 20 KOs. Funai, 33, has won his last seven outings, 14 of his last 15. The Japanese superflyweight titlist turned pro in 2015 and totes a record of 31-7, with 22 KOs.

Weight won’t be a problem when Ancajas steps on the scales at the weigh-in this afternoon. When he left Manila, his weight was 122 pounds. The other day, he scaled 118. It should be easy making the superflyweight limit of 115. Ancajas’ weight was managed by nutritionist Jeaneth Aro who also takes care of the ABAP boxers.

Working Ancajas’ fight will be San Francisco’s Edward Collantes who was the third man in the ring when Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada dethroned Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in their WBC superflyweight title bout in Inglewood, California, last Friday. One of the judges will be Jonathan Davis, a former Cebu banker who migrated to the US in 2008.

Jimenez said Ancajas logged over 90 rounds in sparring since getting ready for Funai last November. Ancajas started training at the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite then moved to the Marines base in Ternate for isolation. “Maganda yung training namin sa Ternate,” said Jimenez. “Dala namin ang spirit ng boong Philipine Navy at Philippine Marines. Ang hirap na naranasan ni Jerwin sa Ternate ay magiging motivation at inspirasyon niya. Mas lumakas ang katawan niya. Maraming suntok ang pinagaralan namin.”

Weather in Stockton has been pleasant so Ancajas isn’t adjusting to the climate. “Pareho lang ang weather sa atin,” said Jimenez. “Masayahin si Jerwin, mas okay ang mood niya compared sa last fight against (Alejandro) Santiago. Napanood namin ang laban ni (Nonito) Donaire kontra (Stephon) Young. Na-inspire si Jerwin sa panalo ni Donaire. Pagsikapin niya gawin kay Funai yung ginawa ni Donaire kay Young.”

Stockton, an 80-mile drive from San Francisco, once had the largest concentration of Filipinos of any town in the US. The first Filipino settlers in Stockton arrived in 1898 but it was in the 1920s when a flock of migrants landed to become agricultural workers mostly in asparagus fields. Before World War II, the Filipino population in the port city rose to over 10,000 during the harvest season. By the end of the war, the population went up to 15,000. The Filipino community grew so large that a district called Little Manila was established south of Main Street. That was where Filipinos converged in hotels, grocery stores, barber shops, restaurants and social clubs. Economic issues led Stockton to declare bankruptcy in 2012 but it’s now back on its feet, exiting from the doldrums three years later. Eventually, the Filipino community dwindled to less than 5,000 and today, what was once a bustling Little Manila district is considered one of the US’ most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Because of its predominantly Filipino population, promoters brought in Filipino fighters to box in Stockton in the pre-war era. Small Montana, Little Dado and Ceferino Garcia were among the Filipino world champions who performed during the period. There were more Filipinos who invaded Stockton after the war. Flash Elorde won three fights in the city over Chico Rosa in 1956, Cecil Schoonmaker in 1958 and Teddy Davis in 1959.


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