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CONLAN SAYS ANCAJAS IS A GREAT FIGHTER BETTER THAN YAFAI; JUDGES CAN JEOPARDIZE JERWIN'S DEFENSE CAUTIONS ANALYST PRINCIPE


PhilBoxing.com




Undefeated Irish Jamie Conlan will face one of the best fighters in his division when he challenges Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF world superflyweight title on November 18 in Belfast. Interviewed in RingTV, he respects the Filipino champion, believing him to be better than Kal Yafai, who also holds a world title. “I do believe he’s better than Kal Yafai,” said Conlan. “I believe he is the second best in the division with Naoya Inoue (WBO Champion) being the best. I don’t think he’s the weakest champion.”

* * *

“He is a great fighter. To be a world champion in the superflyweight division says something about you. It’s the toughest I’ve seen in the world at the moment,” Conlan praised Ancajas. But even as he acknowledges the power of the Filipino champ, the Irish challenger is determined to wrest the belt from him having previously gone through tough opponents in the ring and with the backup of the huge Belfast hometown crowd during the match.

* * *

“I’ve dealt with the hand in previous fights where I’ve been down and had to get up, been cut and can’t see for 2-3 rounds and been able to handle that environment where everything was crazy. It’s waters I’ve swam in, I’m very familiar with it,” Conlan added. He warns Ancajas that the Filipino now comes to a hostile, volatile cauldron in Belfast. "When he enters the arena with 10,000 Irishmen supporting their own, it’ll be a lot harder when 10,000 people are shouting.”

* * *

To make sure that he retains the world junior bantamweight crown against undefeated Jamie Conlan, Ancajas will have to overcome the judges' biases winning convincingly, said boxing analyst Dennis Principe over ABS-CBN. Ancajas will defend his title at SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland, where thousands of Irish fans are expected to jeer the Filipino and to cheer their countryman. “I'm not concerned about that he will fight in the backyard of Conlan. What I'm concerned about is the judges,” Principe said.

* * *

Principe added that, although Conlan is still undefeated in 19 fights, he thinks the “Irish Gatti” will have a difficult time with a stylist in Ancajas. He is afraid though that the officiating might influence the title fight. “Conlan is still very far from the league of Ancajas,” he said. “Conlan is not much of a threat. I see the judges can be more of a threat for Ancajas,” Principe said. Regarding the Irish fans, Ancajas’ team already know how to handle their boxer fighting in enemy territory.

* * *

“Knowing that his handlers are well-versed in the sport, they already knew the challenge of fighting in the hometown of Conlan,” said Principe. He appreciated the last time Ancajas stopped Teiru Kinoshita in round 7 in Brisbane. “He fought really well and backed up the confidence he showed by unleashing a splendid performance. I believe this is brand new, confident Ancajas which I saw. Although I have some reservations in his power, but overall he's a very skillful fighter and he'll be a longtime champion.”

* * *

Jeff Horn will give Terence Crawford the toughest fight of his career. Australian trainer Noel Thornburry thinks so. He believes Horn is being underestimated again by the many who think his upset win over Manny Pacquiao will be spoiled by Crawford. Top Rank boss Bob Arum has planned the Horn-Crawford showdown, most likely in the United States, if he beats Englishman Gary Corcoran in his first title defense in Brisbane on December 13.

* * *

Arum is already thinking of popular welterweight opponents for Crawford expecting he will beat Horn and win the title. Thornburry believes otherwise. "I believe people are underestimating Jeff Horn's ability. I think that he can beat Terence Crawford the same as he beat Manny Pacquiao," Thornburry told AAP. "Everyone looked at me funny when I said he'd beat Manny Pacquiao. Everyone thought I was stupid, particularly boxing people. But he did it. It's history now."

* * *

"It'll be a hard fight and Crawford's younger, he punches hard. But he hasn't fought anyone as big as Jeff Horn. I think he'll give Crawford the hardest fight of his career and stops him maybe late in the rounds." Crawford will join Arum at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre for the Horn-Corcoran fight. "I've got to take care of Gary first," Horn told reporters. "I think everyone should learn not to underestimate me. I train so hard for these fights and no-one's going to take this belt away from me cheaply."

* * *

"King" Arthur Villanueva made weight for his non-title contest against WBC bantamweight champion Luis "Pantera" Nery at Estadio Gasmart in Tijuana, Mexico on Saturday, November 4. Villanueva tipped in at 119-pounds, while Nery weighed 120-pounds. Originally a world title bout, anti-doping complications on Nery's end had the WBC converting this into a non-title fight. But Villanueva treats this as a world title break. If he wins he could get big championship offers.

* * *

On Nov. 3, 1996, Kobe Bryant had his NBA debut with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was an MVP with five NBA titles and made the Los Angeles Lakers' all-time scoring record. He started a humble beginning in the NBA. He was picked 13th overall in the 1996 draft, and he joined the Lakers via a draft-night trade with the Charlotte Hornets, who originally drafted him. He joined the Lakers that added Shaquille O'Neal to the core of Nick Van Exel, Eddie Jones, Cedric Ceballos, Rick Fox and Elden Campbell.

* * *

Bryant played six minutes coming off the bench in his very first NBA game, going scoreless with a rebound, a block and a steal as the Lakers won 91-85 over the Minnesota Timberwolves led by Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury. His debut was nothing memorable, but Bryant eventually made the All-Rookie second team after averaging 7.6 points, 1.3 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game. Bryant later garnered several individual and team honors as he played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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