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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Weight no problem for Jerwin

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
05 May 2019


Ancajas and nutritionist Jeaneth Aro.

STOCKTON. There was a glow in IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ face when he easily scaled inside the limit at the weigh-in for his fight against Japanese challenger Ryuichi Funai at the Stockton Arena last Friday (yesterday, Manila time).

For the first time ever, Ancajas endured training camp without going hungry and didn’t need to skip meals to make weight. Nutritionist Jeaneth Aro took care of Ancajas’ diet and laid out a plan for him to eat healthy without compromising muscle mass up to the weigh-in. Six weeks before the fight, Ancajas weighed 132-134 pounds. A week ago, he was down to 120. The day before the weigh-in, Ancajas stepped on Top Rank’s official scales and weighed 116.8. An hour before the weigh-in, he scaled 114.6. And at the weigh-in, Ancajas went 114.2 and Funai, 114.2, both well within the superflyweight limit of 115.

Aro arrived here last Tuesday to personally supervise Ancajas’ weight program. She cooked the meals that were suited for making the limit. Aro removed salt from his diet and served him poached tilapia with pepper, tomatoes and ginger. For another meal, it was baked herb chicken filet. He had egg white for breakfast. Right after the weigh-in, Ancajas enjoyed his recovery food of spaghetti that Aro prepared at his request and also a banana. Later that day, she served chicken tinola and baked salmon, this time with salt to add taste.

“You couldn’t ask more from Jerwin,” Aro said. “He never complained. In the last few days before the weigh-in, I took out salt from his diet and went high protein. Once he got the weight, we put in salt and brought back the carbs. Coach Joven (Jimenez) plans Jerwin to enter the ring at 128-129 so we’ll program his diet so he makes that weight. The most dangerous thing about reducing weight is you might get dehydrated. This wasn’t the case with Jerwin. In fact, when working out, he would expel so much fluid, meaning hindi siya piga. We made sure he was constantly hydrated. Another dangerous thing about reducing weight is you could lose muscle mass which we didn’t want Jerwin to do. He needs his muscle for power. Our diet provided the energy in his muscles. Jerwin will show the same energy in the first round as in the last.”

International matchmaker Sean Gibbons said it looks like Ancajas is built to stay in the superflyweight division. In his two previous fights, he had difficulty making weight and considered moving up to bantamweight. But with Aro managing his weight, Ancajas had no difficulty for this fight.

Aro said she’s used to cooking healthy. For three years, she provided the recovery food for the TNT KaTropa PBA team. It was lawyer Bobbet Bruce who advised Jimenez to tap Aro’s services. Bruce was introduced to Aro when she worked with the national youth golf team and late asked her to plan a nutrition program for his daughter Samantha, a scholar parbuster at San Jose State.

Aro, 37, is the personal sports nutrition coach of weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, jiu-jitsu world champion Meggie Ochoa, Youth Olympics archery gold medalist Gabriel Moreno, the UP taekwondo team, the La Salle Greenhills swimming team and the entire ABAP boxing team. At the recent Asian Games, Aro worked with five of the country’s 21 medalists. Her programs are WADA compliant.

Aro has worked with people of all ages. The youngest athlete whom she looked after was figure skater Celine Tansipek, 8, and the oldest was six-time world marathoner Marriz Agbon, 58. Aro’s success as a fitness coach and registered nutritionist-dietician lies in her ability to inspire athletes to eat healthy and perform at a high level.

Aro was the only woman who stayed in the five-bedroom house that Jimenez rented from the former Stockton mayor Anthony Silva on Sonata Circle road. She had to closely monitor Ancajas’ condition and made sure the kitchen was accessible to whip up the dishes that were in line with his nutrition program. This is Aro’s first trip to the US and there hasn’t been time for her to even see the sights because she’s so focused on Ancajas’ condition.

“Jerwin’s not picky with his food which made it easier for me to prepare his meals,” she said. “Coming close to the weigh-in, the last two pounds are the hardest to lose but Jerwin is so disciplined that it was never an issue.”


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