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IBF head lauds Ancajas
Ancajas and IBF president Daryl Peoples.
STAR/File

IBF head lauds Ancajas

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — No less than IBF president Daryl Peoples has acknowledged that IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ ninth title defense against Mexico’s Jonathan Rodriguez was his best performance ever. Ancajas, manager/trainer Joven Jimenez, sparmate Jonas Sultan, featherweight Mark Magsayo and wife Frances and MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons and son Brendan paid a courtesy call on Peoples at the IBF head office in Springfield, New Jersey, last Tuesday.

Peoples treated the visitors to lunch at an Italian restaurant near the IBF office. Gibbons set up the meeting and said Peoples was impressed by Ancajas’ showing in scoring a unanimous 12-round decision at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, last Saturday. “Mr. Peoples thought Jerwin fought brilliantly, boxing and slugging it out,” said Gibbons. “Jerwin made the IBF proud to have him as champion.” Ancajas is the longest reigning world superflyweight titlist who wrested the IBF crown from Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo in 2016.

The day after Ancajas and Magsayo won their fights in Uncasville, the team took a three-hour drive to New York City. Gibbons arranged accommodations at the Millennium Broadway Hotel. The Filipinos were transformed into instant tourists on their first trip to the Big Apple, walking up and down the streets of Manhattan to take selfies at Times Square and in front of the Trump Tower and NBC Studios building. For meals, Gibbons brought them to a Korean restaurant and a pizzeria.

A highlight of the visit was watching the New York Knicks play the Los Angeles Lakers live at the Madison Square Garden last Monday. Ancajas’ favorite team is the Lakers and favorite player is LeBron James who was at the Garden but didn’t play because of a high right ankle sprain. Another Laker star Anthony Davis was in civvies at the sidelines with a calf strain and tendinosis. The game was open to a limited audience and Premier Boxing Champions CEO Al Haymon got tickets for the group. It was a treat for Ancajas even as the Lakers lost a 111-96 decision. Another highlight was paying a courtesy call on Philippine consul general Elmer Gozun Cato at the Philippine consulate on Fifth Avenue.

The entourage boarded a United flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Los Angeles last Tuesday night. Gibbons said the team will stay in L. A. to assist Sultan in training for a fight in Tijuana on April 24 and continue to provide support for Olympic qualifier Eumir Marcial who’s working with Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym. There’s still nothing definite on when Ancajas will return home.

JERWIN ANCAJAS
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