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Ancajas set to go full route


PhilBoxing.com




IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas isn’t taking any chances against Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzalez and manager/trainer Joven Jimenez said he plans to go the distance in their scheduled 12-round title bout at the Auditorio GNP Seguros in Puebla, Mexico, this morning (Manila tme).

Ancajas, 27, left Manila for Los Angeles last Oct. 18 to stake his crown against Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez in Carson, California on Nov. 2. But the fight was scrapped due to Rodriguez’ visa issues. Gonzalez, 30, was called in to battle Ancajas with the bout relocated to Puebla on the undercard of WBO superbantamweight champion Emanuel Navarrete’s defense against Francisco Horta. When Ancajas returns home on Wednesday, he will have been away for nearly two months.
Ancajas had made weight a day before the Nov. 2 fight was scratched so the challenge was to stay in fight shape for another month without burning out. During the extension, Ancajas limited his sparring to 24 rounds with General Santos City fighter Jobert Alvarez and the longest session was six rounds twice. Los Angeles-based Filipino trainer Marvin Somodio, formerly Freddie Roach’s chief assistant, called the process of rearming Ancajas “periodization” or the ability to design a series of adequate training programs with workouts based on specific goals. Alvarez will fight Mexico's Luis Escobedo in a sixer on the same card as Ancajas.

Since a month ago, Ancajas’ weight was monitored closely by nutritionist Jeaneth Aro who stayed in Manila to work with Filipino athletes in the Southeast Asian Games. Ancajas never strayed from the diet program and at the weigh-in last Friday, scaled 114.4 pounds, the same as Gonzalez. The superflyweight limit is 115.

Jimenez said the climate in Puebla isn’t different from Manila so it won’t be an issue. “Maganda ang kondisyon ni Jerwin, pati rin ng kalaban,” he said. “Malaki at matangkad si Jerwin sa kaniya. Plano namin ni Jerwin mag-abot ng round pero kung may pagkakataon, pababagsakin ni Jerwin.”

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who will be at ringside for the fight, described Gonzalez as seasoned. “He’s dangerous in the sense that in his first world title bout, he has nothing to lose so all the pressure is on Jerwin as the defending champion to stay sharp,” said Gibbons. “When you are king of the hill, lots of fighters are coming hungry to win the belt. Gonzalez fought toe-to-toe and was very even in his fight for the WBA No. 1 spot against Andrew Moloney before getting stopped in the eighth round last March. I see that experience helping him tremendously, coming into this fight. Gonzalez is so serious that he left Chile as soon as he signed for the fight and set up camp in Puerto Rico.”

Ancajas said he’s in “fantastic” shape. “I’m ready to defend my title in front of the great Mexican fans,” he said in Pilipino. “Since my fight against Rodriguez was canceled, I’ve stayed in America to train. Gonzalez is a worthy challenger and has beaten good opposition to earn this title shot.” Gonzalez said Ancajas is “a great champion” but “this is my time.”

Gonzalez has a 31-2 record, with 8 KOs and has won 14 of his last 15 fights since 2013. He’s coming off two KO wins. Ancajas’ record is 31-1-2, with 21 KOs. It will be Ancajas’ eighth title defense since wresting the crown from McJoe Arroyo in Taguig in 2016.


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


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