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Jerwin Ancajas has reached the peak of his training for his February 3 fight against Mexico's Israel Gonzalez and has tapered his preparations in Magallanes, Cavite. “We are starting to slow it down,” Ancajas told Manila Bulletin's Nick Giongco. He will defend his International Boxing Federation superflyweight title in his U.S. debut in Corpus Christi, Texas.

* * *

The target of the training now is on Ancajas’ weight because his trainers would like him to weigh around 120 lbs by the time they travel to Los Angeles on January 26. The superflyweight division limit is 115 lbs and Ancajas currently weighs 125 lbs and that is still 10 lbs above the standard.

* * *

Meanwhile, Gonzalez is preparing himself intensely to secure the biggest victory of his career, on February 3, when he will aim to consummate himself as a world champion. Gonzalez is gaining a lot of support back home to return to Mexico with the world title. He is just two weeks away from the biggest fight of his career and presently he is training at the high altitude camp in Jiquipilco, Mexico, near the Otomi Ceremonial Center, to appear in the best possible shape during the fight.

* * *

"The commitment that Israel has will not be easy, because he will go against a complicated and left-handed opponent. Two years ago I had the opportunity to see Jerwin fight in Macao and since then I have followed him closely and I see some very good possibilities to beat him. The dedication and discipline of Israel Gonzalez will be the key to success," said his trainer Adalberto "Condor" Sanchez. "My dream is to become the first world champion of Cabo San Lucas. I'm ready to shine ... it's my time and I'm not going to waste it," said Gonzalez.

* * *

Ancajas has made three defenses of the title and will come to Texas as a huge favorite to triumph against Gonzalez. Their match will be part of the undercard that headlines another ESPN televised world title fight, involving Mexico's Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramírez and the Ghanaian contender Habib Ahmed who will clash for the Mexican champ's WBO supermiddleweight title.

* * *

The Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) announces that its Sugar Ray Robinson 2017 Fighter of the Year is Vasily “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko, becoming the first Ukrainian boxer to earn the prestigious recognition in the 80-year history of the award giving. Lomachenko (10-1, 8 knockouts) earned the BWAA’s top prize by defeating sturdy challengers Jason Sosa and Miguel Marriaga last year, and made fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux quit their much-publicized fight after six rounds.

* * *

“Hi-Tech” prevailed over Terence Crawford, Anthony Joshua, Mikey Garcia and Thailand's instant boxing celebrity Srisaket Sor Rungvisai for the top award. Lomachenko’s crowning enabled Team Lomachenko to win an extraordinary BWAA triple crown by winning the 2017 BWAA fighter, trainer and manager of the year awards.

* * *

Anatoly Lomachenko, Vasyl’s father, won the Trainer of the Year award, while Egis Klimas, who manages Lomachenko, won the Manager of the Year award for the second straight year. The last trio to complete the BWAA's triple crown was in 1992, when Riddick Bowe was voted the BWAA FOY, the late Eddie Futch was awarded Trainer of the Year and Rock Newman was recognized Manager of the Year.

* * *

Anthony Joshua’s April 29 win over Wladimir Klitschko was awarded BWAA Fight of the Year. A true heavyweight classic, the showdown had both fighters going down before Joshua stopped Klitschko by an 11th round TKO. Cecilia Braekhus was named the first ever Christy Martin Female Fighter of the Year.

* * *

Bob Arum was advised by MGM Resorts International that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas would not be available as venue for any boxing event on April 14 or April 21, the two dates Top Rank had targeted to stage Terence Crawford's first fight at welyerweight, as he challenges Jeff Horn for the WBO welterweight title. The T-Mobile is reserved on the mentioned dates for the NHL playoffs, featuring the Las Vegas Golden Knights who are in first place in the Pacific Division, which begins on April 11.

* * *

“We weren’t able to get anything in Vegas,” Arum told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “For sure it’s not going to be in Vegas. It’s nobody’s fault. I don’t want to place blame. We’re happy to be in New York. It wasn’t a question of a bidding war or anything like that. If I can’t get a building, I can’t get a building.”

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

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