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Arum calls Ancajas a fan favorite


PhilBoxing.com





CORPUS CHRISTI. Top Rank CEO Bob Arum had glowing remarks for IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in the wake of the Filipino southpaw’s 10th round disposal of Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez at the American Bank Center here Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila).


“I’m impressed and I foresee Jerwin becoming a fan favorite not only in the US but all over the world,” said Arum. “Jerwin will make a name for himself in boxing not as the next Manny Pacquiao because there will never be another Manny Pacquiao but as Jerwin Ancajas.”

It was Ancajas’ US debut and his first fight in a two-year deal with Top Rank. Arum welcomed Ancajas as a rising star in his stable. Ancajas didn’t disappoint as he floored Gonzalez thrice in a one-sided affair.

But Ancajas’ discriminating manager and trainer Joven Jimenez said he could’ve been sharper. Jimenez said Ancajas was slower than usual in his delivery and rated the performance a 7 in a scale of 1 to 10. That’s not a passing mark in the classroom.

“Gonzalez was bigger so Jerwin didn’t want to take chances,” said Jimenez. “Gonzalez was out to counterpunch and bait Jerwin to come inside. I felt Jerwin could’ve shown better handspeed. Maybe, it’s because his previous fight was only in November. I think in fights at this high level, you’ll need to rest about five months. It’s not that Jerwin was burned out. It’s probably because the fights were too close to each other.”

But Jimenez said he’s not complaining. “Before the 10th round, I told Jerwin to coast and preserve himself to be aggressive in the 11th and 12th rounds,” he said. “I thought it would go the distance. I also told Jerwin if there’s an opportunity to finish him off, take it. I think Jerwin saw Gonzalez tiring out and that’s when he put on the pressure.”

Asked if Ancajas would be ready to climb the ring by April, Jimenez suddenly changed his tune about fighting too often. “Why not, if the money’s there,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

Former Australian flyweight and bantamweight champion Todd Makelim, a half-Filipino who flew in from Sydney to work Ancajas’ corner as a cutman, said he wasn’t surprised by the ending. “That’s Jerwin for you,” he said. “He’ll chop down his opponent like a tree little by little until it falls. He’s a patient guy. He won’t go for a quick knockout unless it’s there waiting for him. I expected Gonzalez to run and he did, particularly after the fifth round. Jerwin did a good job of breaking down Gonzalez and it was just a matter of time before he fell.” Makelim said the win was a perfect 49th birthday gift to himself.


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


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