“Jerwin didn’t put on a spectacular show in his last defense against (Jonas) Sultan,” said Arum. “That’s understandable. I don’t think it’s a smart idea to pit two Filipinos against each other. Jerwin didn’t want to beat up Sultan so the fight wasn’t as exciting as it could’ve been. It’ll be different against Santiago.
Photo courtesy of Toprank.com
Bob Arum predicts big things for Jerwin Ancajas
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2018 - 12:00am

OAKLAND – Top Rank chairman Bob Arum has big plans for IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas and expects nothing less than an impressive performance in his sixth title defense against Mexican Alejandro Santiago at the Oracle Arena here this morning (Manila time).

“Jerwin didn’t put on a spectacular show in his last defense against (Jonas) Sultan,” said Arum. “That’s understandable. I don’t think it’s a smart idea to pit two Filipinos against each other. Jerwin didn’t want to beat up Sultan so the fight wasn’t as exciting as it could’ve been. It’ll be different against Santiago. Jerwin hopes to unify the superflyweight championship and (Srisaket Sor) Rungvisai is his next target. Top Rank has the resources to make that fight happen next year.”

Arum said Ancajas personifies the new breed of young champions taking over the sport. “Honestly, I don’t know too much about Santiago,” he said. “We hold some 30 shows a year and bring in 24 to 30 more shows from overseas to air on our media platforms. That’s keeping me busier than ever. So I don’t really have time to go over tape and watch every fighter in our shows. I’ve got my matchmakers who do that and they do a great job. I show up at the fights and enjoy the action. I’m sure Jerwin’s fight against Santiago will be as exciting as his fight against (Israel) Gonzalez.”

Arum wouldn’t call Ancajas the second coming of Manny Pacquiao but nodded his head when it was suggested that the IBF champion appears to be a cross between Luisito Espinosa and Gerry Penalosa. “2019 will be a big year for Jerwin,” said Arum. “But let’s see what he shows against Santiago before we move forward.”

Staging the fight at the Oracle Arena suits Ancajas, said Arum. “There were no venues available in San Francisco but we found the Oracle Arena where the Golden State Warriors play,” he said. “There’s a big Filipino community in Oakland and Jerwin has a big fan following in the Bay Area.”

Last Tuesday, Ancajas visited Balboa High School in San Francisco and spoke to over 100 students of Filipino descent taking Pilipino as a second language. An audio-visual of Ancajas’ life, taken from an ESPN5 documentary, was shown in the auditorium to introduce the champion to the students. Ancajas, who finished only up to second year of high school in Panabo, said the visit reminded him of his student days and how he missed campus life. In an inspiring message, he called out student-athletes and encouraged them to work hard, dream big and be confident in trying to accomplish their goals.

Las Vegas-based international matchmaker Sean Gibbons said Ancajas is pumped up to deliver a convincing win. But Santiago, who’s a fight-alike of former world flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada, can’t be taken lightly. Estrada is as tough as nails and has lost only thrice, all on points, to Rungvisai on a majority verdict, Chocolatito Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Sanchez. Santiago is known to be a shifty, clever, in-and-out counterpuncher who likes attacking the body. Like Estrada, Santiago has lost only on points.

“Jerwin can’t afford to lose,” said Ancajas’ trainer Joven Jimenez in Pilipino. “So much is at stake. Losing isn’t an option. He has a new baby, his family is growing. We’re not finished building our gym and dorm in Cavite. Whatever it takes to win, Jerwin will do. If Santiago fights from a distance, he’ll close the gap. If Santiago engages, he’ll exchange. Jerwin will be aggressive. He will win this fight.”

ALEJANDRO SANTIAGO BOB ARUM BOXING JERWIN ANCAJAS TOP RANK
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