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SPORTS FACTS AND FIGURES 51: TAKUMA INOUE READY TO RUMBLE AGAINST HIS "IDOL" JERWIN ANCAJAS


PhilBoxing.com





Jerwin Ancajas versus Takuma Inoue 12-round bout was supposed to be held last November 25, but the Japanese world champion asked for the postponement after Takuma, the younger brother of four-division world champion Naoya "Monster" Inoue, sustained a left rib fracture during sparring.

* * *

Now, Takuma is ready to defend his title against Ancajas, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight champion who decided to move up in weight after his back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Argentina’s Fernando Martinez.

* * *

Despite his longer experience and stronger knockout prowess, Ancajas has been tagged the underdog against Inoue. Oddsmakers established Ancajas at +225 against -275 for Inoue, who will be defending his WBA bantamweight title for the first time.

* * *

After 10 months training in the United States, Ancajas and his longtime trainer/manager Joven Jimenez returned to the Philippines on December 5 and continued his preparations at Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite.

* * *

Ancajas lost his title to Argentine Fernando Daniel Martinez on February 26, 2022 by unanimous decision (117-111, 118-110 and 118-110). He could not regain his belt in a rematch on October 8 of the same year, losing again via unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, and 118-110).

* * *

Ancajas moved up to the bantamweight division where he was formidable in his first bout, scoring a fifth round knockout of Colombian Wilner Soto on June 24, 2023 and positioning himself for a title fight against Inoue.

* * *

“He is the best fighter I’ll ever face, so I want to be focused,” Takuma Inoue told Spin.ph. “I want to fight until the end and I want to win the fight. I idolize [Ancajas]. I watched several matches [of Ancajas] and sparred against him in the past. But there are some elements that I’m not sure about until I actually face him in the ring."

* * *

During the official weigh-in, Inoue tipped in at 117.7 pounds, a bit lighter than the 118lbs weight limit. Ancajas was above the weight limit on his first try on the scale, which compelled him to strip off his underwear. He finally made it at 117.7 lbs.

* * *

Featured in the undercard is Ancajas’ stablemate, Jonas “Zorro” Sultan who will face another Japanese Riku Masuda. Sultan and Masuda weighed in at 117.5 lbs for their eight-rounder non-title bout in the undercard.

* * *

Sultan, a former WBO intercontinental bantamweight champion, will make his debut in Japanese soil. He has a record of 19-6 with 11 knockouts, while Masuda has a slate of 3-1 with three knockouts.

* * *

Sports History: February 24, 1989. Panamanian boxing legend Roberto Durán won his 4th world title in different weight divisions when he defeated Iran Barkley in a 12 round split decision, 118-112, 116-112 and 113-116. The fight was held in Atlantic City and the 37-year-old Durán won the WBC middleweight title.


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


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