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Will Gonzalez run?


PhilBoxing.com




CORPUS CHRISTI. Former Australian flyweight and bantamweight champion Todd Makelim is going against the grain in predicting Israel Gonzalez won’t engage IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in their 12-round battle at the American Bank Center here this morning (Manila time). While the consensus is Gonzalez will brawl like a typical Mexican warrior, Makelim said he’s betting the challenger will box, hit and run because of the Filipino’s reputation as a heavy-handed knockout puncher.

“I’ve only seen a short footage of Gonzalez fighting,” said Makelim, a half-Filipino former boxer who was knocked out by Sen. Manny Pacquiao in Kidapawan in 1999 and will work Ancajas’ corner as a cutman. “I think Gonzalez will box. He’s basically a mover. That’s what (Jamie) Conlan tried to do in their fight in Belfast last November. But Conlan took a hard shot to the body and was never the same. I predicted Jerwin to take him out by the sixth and that’s exactly what happened. Conlan went down four times. What you like about Jerwin is he thinks things through. He’ll break down his opponent bit by bit. He’ll start off attacking the body then he’ll go to the head, wherever there’s an opening.”

Makelim, who flew in from his Sydney home last Thursday, said Ancajas will dictate the tempo of the fight regardless of his opponent’s style. Ancajas’ trainer Joven Jimenez prepared him to cope with any eventuality by bringing in four types of sparmates. Ancajas sparred over 90 rounds with superbantamweight Ernesto Saulong, superlightweight Daniel Lim, superfeatherweight Pete Penitenten and featherweight Allan Alberca at his training facility called Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, before leaving for the US two weeks ago.

While Makelim said Gonzalez’ credentials are questionable, Ancajas can’t afford to be overconfident because too much is at stake. A prime example is what happened to WBA No. 5 superlightweight Czar Amonsot in Melbourne last October. Amonsot hadn’t lost in 19 straight fights since 2007 and faced Paraguay’s Carlos Portillo whose record of 19-0 with 15 KOs was dubious because his victims were no-namers. Amonsot took Portillo lightly and paid a hefty price for his overconfidence. The Filipino was knocked out cold in the third round and his career is now in a standstill.

“Jerwin can’t underestimate Gonzalez,” said Makelim. “It’s hard to tell how good a fighter is. It’s like Jerwin. You won’t know how strong he is until he’s in the ring taking your head off. Jerwin should take his time against Gonzalez, size him up then break him down round by round.”

Makelim will work Ancajas’ corner with Jimenez, Jimenez’ brother Virgil and minimumweight stablemate Mark Anthony Barriga. Gonzalez’ corner will be manned by his manager Hector Sanchez, trainer Condor Sanchez, Arturo Cota and Raul Garza, Jr. The referee will be retired US Army first sergeant Rafael Ramos while Joel Elizondo of San Antonio, Fernando Villareal of Oak Hill, California and Lisa Giampa of Las Vegas were appointed judges.

Photo: Ancajas and Gonzalez raise their fists at the weigh-in.


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


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