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ANCAJAS GEARS UP FOR U.S. DEBUT


PhilBoxing.com




IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1,19KO’s) will be making the fourth defense of his world title this February 3 against Mexican Israel Gonzalez (21-1,8KO’s) at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. This will also be the fourth time that Ancajas will defend overseas.

The 26 year old from Panabo, Davao del Norte will fight in the Unites States for the first time after signing a promotional deal with Top Rank last December.

“Our training is going well,” Ancajas’ trainer and manager Joven Jimenez told this writer, “We will be leaving for the U.S. on January 25.”

Two years ago, going into his title win against McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico, Ancajas attracted little attention from the media. Now, he gets more interviews on television and articles on national newspapers.

But this did not make Ancajas relax and sit on his laurels. In fact, it was reported that he was already back in the gym two weeks after beating Jamie Conlan by sixth round TKO in Belfast, Northern Ireland last November 18.

His training camp is based in Magallanes, Cavite where Team Ancajas hopes the facilities can also help up and coming Filipino fighters.

“His sparring partners now are Alan Alberca, Ernesto Saulong, John Mark Alimane, Pete Penitente and Daniel Lim,” Jimenez said.

Alberca and Penitente, a.k.a. Peter Apolinar, are both featherweights who were also part of Ancajas’ training for the Conlan fight. Lim, a junior welterweight and Alimane, a flyweight, are also regular sparring partners of Ancajas.

2017 was a busy but dominant year for Ancajas, having turned back the challenge of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico (TKO7 in Macao), Teiru Kinoshita of Japan (TKO7 in Brisbane, Australia) and the sixth round victory against Conlan in the U.K.

But it was the win against Kinoshita, which was the main supporting bout for Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Jeff Horn at the Suncorp Stadium, that showcased Ancajas before a worldwide audience.

The challenger Gonzalez has two familiar names on his resume – Mexican Ramon Garcia Hirales and Colombian Mauricio Fuentes.

Hirales lost his WBO light flyweight title to Donnie Nietes by unanimous decision in Bacolod City in 2011.

In 2014, Fuentes was knocked out by Johnriel Casimero in one round in Cebu City. This was the fight that saw Casimero lose his IBF junior flyweight world title on the scales for coming in overweight.

In 2016, Gonzalez beat Hirales by unanimous decision and he knocked out Fuentes twice.

Ancajas vs Gonzalez will be on the undercard of the WBO super middleweight title fight between champion Gilberto Ramirez of Mexico and Habib Ahmed of Ghana.

There is added pressure now for Ancajas to succeed. Not only is he making his United States debut on a Top Rank card which will guarantee more media attention. Being promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions will invite comparisons to the boxing icon’s rise in world-wide popularity after his U.S. debut. The Philippines also started 2018 with only two reigning world titleholders, the other being IBF flyweight champion Donnie Nietes.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..


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