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Respect is Ancajas' motivation


PhilBoxing.com



Jerwin Ancajas at Friday's weighin in Uncasville, CT.

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is determined to deliver a strong message that he can’t be ignored in lining up the world’s top 115-pound fighters and standing in the way of earning the respect he deserves is Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez who will test his mettle in a scheduled 12-round title bout at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, Saturday ight (tomorrow morning, Manila time).

“Jerwin wants respect,” said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons yesterday from Connecticut. “For some reason, he’s never in the equation when talking about the best superflyweights. It’s always (Juan Francisco) Estrada or Chocolatito (Gonzalez) or (Carlos) Cuadras or (Srisaket Sor) Rungvisai. Jerwin’s made eight successful defenses and he still can’t get respect. But this fight will be his statement that watch out, Jerwin means business. This is going to be a war.” Supervising the title fight is Melvina Lathan. David Fields of New Jersey will be the referee and Tony Paolillo of New York, Tom Schreck of New York and Don Trella of Suffield, Connecticut the judges.

Ancajas, 29, hasn’t fought in over a year and the encounter with Rodriguez was postponed twice but now that it’s finally set, he can’t wait to rumble. “Sabi ni Rodriguez, simula first round, banat kaagad,” he said. “Handa akong makipagsabayan. Noong bago ako sa pro, ganoon ang style ko, bahala na, suntok ng suntok parang si Sir Manny (Pacquiao) sa unang panahon niya. Paglipat ko kay coach Joven (Jimenez), nag-improve yung technique ko, depensa, counter, footwork, kumbinasyon, jab. Itong laban ang susi para makilala ako bilang isa sa mga tanyag na superflyweight sa mundo.”

Rodriguez, 25, is a typical Mexican come-forward warrior who’s the highest-ranked contender in the IBF with the No. 1 and No. 2 slots vacant. To prepare for Ancajas, Rodriguez disposed of Julian Yedras in a single round in Monterrey last December and in his previous fight, the brawler nicknamed “Titan” sent two-time world title challenger Felipe Orocuta to a seven-week stay in the hospital. Ancajas, a southpaw, hasn’t lost in his last 20 outings or since dropping a majority decision to countryman Mark Anthony Geraldo in Lapu Lapu City in 2012. His record is 32-1-2, with 22 KOs. Rodriguez has won six in a row since bowing to Jose Martin Estrada Garcia on a split decision in 2018 and totes a record of 22-1, with 16 KOs. It will be Ancajas’ fifth fight in the US while Rodriguez is making his debut outside of Mexico. In yesterday's weigh-in, Ancajas tipped the scales at 114 3/4 pounds and Rodriguez checked in at 115.
Ancajas has called out the division’s big names for a showdown but Estrada, Gonzalez, Cuadras and Rungvisai are looking elsewhere. The WBC recently announced that Estrada, now the WBC superflyweight “franchise” champion, and Gonzalez will face off in a rubber match with the winner to take on the survivor of a duel between Srisaket and Cuadras for the WBC crown.

Ancajas, Jimenez and sparmate Jonas Sultan landed in Los Angeles from Manila last October. It took nearly six months to confirm his ninth title defense with Premier Boxing Champions taking over from Top Rank and now managing his affairs. The team left Los Angeles for Connecticut last Tuesday with Gibbons and his son Brendan. Featherweight Mark Magsayo and his wife Frances flew in from L. A. the next day. Magsayo, 25, takes on Houston’s Pablo Cruz, 34, in the undercard. Cruz has won seven of his last eight to raise his record to 21-3, with 6 KOs compared to Magsayo’s 21-0, with 14 KOs. Both fights will be shown on the One Sports Plus channel via Cignal TV, sponsored by Big Boss Cement, tomorrow morning.


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


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