Aro receives credit for Ancajas condition
Jerwin Ancajas
Philstar.com/File Photo

Aro receives credit for Ancajas condition

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 13, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  —  IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas never had weight issues in preparing for his ninth title defense against Mexican challenger Jonathan Rodriguez and after retaining his crown via a unanimous 12-round decision in Connecticut last Saturday, his manager/coach Joven Jimenez said it was because he strictly followed the diet prepared by nutritionist Jeaneth Aro.

Ancajas scaled 114 3/4 pounds at the weigh-in the day before the bout, a fraction shy of the limit of 115. Under IBF rules, a fighter is again weighed the morning of the fight and allowed to tip in no more than 10 pounds over the limit. Ancajas checked in at 124.6. Before entering the ring, he moved up to 130.2. His weight was calibrated carefully to optimize performance.

Aro, who began to supervise Ancajas’ nutrition two years ago, was with the fighter’s team in his last two fights in Stockton and Puebla, Mexico. She was supposed to join Ancajas in Los Angeles last April 1 but was advised to stay in Manila. Aro also managed featherweight Mark Magsayo’s diet. “Nakatutok si Jeaneth 24 hours,” said Jimenez. “Hindi na namin pinapunta dahil takot kami sa COVID.” MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons said, “she did an amazing job by zoom as my son Brendan did the cooking with coach Joven.” Aro said it was challenging to put the proper food on the table. “I contacted their hotel and event organizers to get the menu bago sila dumating sa Connecticut,” she said. “Nakapagplano na ako ng gagawin beforehand and adjusted their food. Nagpabili na lang ako ng spaghetti meat sauce, grilled chicken, rice and chicken noodle soup.”

Aro said Ancajas and Magsayo were disciplined in following their diet. “We were able to hit our day-to-day weight cut targets,” she said. “I was always in touch with them, even called them three hours before weigh-in to assist in preparing refueling drinks and coordinate recovery food from the weigh-in until just before they went to the arena. I’m grateful to coach Joven and Mark’s wife Frances dahil nasunod lahat ng kailangan gawin sa nutrition. My heart is with coach Joven at alam ko ang load at pressure as manager and coach sa ganitong laban, dagdagan pa ng mga kailangan gawin sa nutrition.”

Aro said both fighters were in top shape and it showed. Magsayo scaled 126 3/4 at the weigh-in then stepped into the ring at 138. It was her first assignment with Magsayo. “Last fight ni Mark, hanggang 134 lang siya kahit anong kain kaya very grateful at he felt the difference,” she said. Magsayo was devastating in dropping Pablo Cruz thrice enroute to scoring a win by a fourth round knockout on the same card as Ancajas’ fight.

Ancajas said his team plans to stay in L. A. with Olympic hopeful Eumir Marcial until the middleweight qualifier leaves to compete at the Asian Elite Championships in New Delhi in late May on the way to Tokyo. “Para sa bayan,” said Ancajas. “Todo suporta kami kay Eumir sa kaniyang pangarap na makuha ang kauna-unahang Olympic gold medal para sa ating bayan.”

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