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Ancajas to make US debut


PhilBoxing.com




IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will mark his US debut in a voluntary title defense against Mexican No. 9 contender Israel Gonzalez at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Feb. 3.

Ancajas is now linked to Top Rank. Two weeks ago, Top Rank CEO Bob Arum hinted that Ancajas would soon join the stable, calling the Panabo City, Davao del Norte, fighter “the next Manny Pacquiao.” Arum said once Ancajas is on board, he’ll arrange for the Filipino to fight three or four bouts a year. Las Vegas matchmaker Sean Gibbons, for his part, dubbed Ancajas “the future of Philippine boxing.”

The defense against Gonzalez will be Ancajas' fourth since dethroning Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo in September last year. Gonzalez won’t be easy pickings and boasts a 21-1 record, with 8 KOs. His only loss was a six-round decision to Argi Cortes two years ago. He has won his last eight outings, five inside the distance.

Ancajas' trainer Joven Jimenez said once the champion disposes of Gonzalez, he’ll move on to stake his crown against mandatory challenger and No. 1 contender Jonas (Zorro) Sultan of Cebu, possibly in April in China. No Filipino has fought another Filipino in a world title fight since WBF welterweight champion William Magahin decisioned Erwin Villaver, a Hawaiian of pure Filipino descent, at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in 1995. The previous marquee duel involving two Filipinos was in Cebu in 1965 when Flash Elorde outpointed Rene Barrientos to retain his Oriental lightweight crown. The first world title bout between two Filipinos was held at the Wallace Field on the east end of Luneta in Manila in 1925 when Pancho Villa defeated Clever Sencio on points over 15 rounds to retain the flyweight crown.

“Gonzalez is a slugger who’s tailor-made for Jerwin,” said Jimenez in Pilipino. “Next week, Jerwin will begin sparring. He’s been doing gym work every day to stay in shape. We hope to arrive in Texas two weeks before the fight to acclimatize.”

Jimenez said he’s not looking past Gonzalez even as plans are being made for the mandatory defense against Sultan in China. Fighting overseas isn’t new to Ancajas who has demolished opponents in Brisbane, Belfast, Macau and Mainland China. Jimenez said the fight in China could be in the undercard of a mainer that may headline Pacquiao.

Photo: Ancajas (wearing gloves) is flanked by Gibbons (right) and Jimenez.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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