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Sports

Ancajas awaits foe in L.A.

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star

IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is safely in Los Angeles and the day after landing last Friday, was at the Wild Card Gym for two hours in the afternoon hitting the bag, powdering the mitts and engaging Jonas Sultan in practice play. Theres still nothing definite on Ancajaslandmark 10th title defense but he expects to return to the ring in November or December.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons arrived in L.A. from Las Vegas yesterday to coordinate efforts in pinning down a challenger for Ancajas. Gibbonsson Brendan welcomed Ancajas, his manager/trainer Joven Jimenez and assistant Bulgary Salvador at the L.A. airport. Ancajas, Jimenez, Salvador, Sultan and Gibbonsson are staying in an Airbnb house near the Wild Card Gym. The gang will move to Las Vegas if thats where Ancajasnext fight is scheduled.

Today, Ancajas will be at Wild Card to spar with Sultan whos getting ready for a big fight against unbeaten Puerto Rican KO artist Carlos Caraballo in New York on Oct. 30. Ancajas isnt wasting any time to get back in shape. Ancajasteam was supposed to leave Manila last Sept. 15 after a prolonged training camp in Dangcagan town, Bukidnon. The group eventually took off last Friday and arrived in L.A. that same night. Before leaving Bukidnon, Ancajas sparred with IBF No. 14 superbantamweight Carl Jammes Martin.

Nagsimula na kami (training) sa Wild Card noong Sabado,” said Jimenez. “Halos dalawang oras si Jerwin sa gym. Nandoon sina coach Freddie (Roach) at coach Marvin (Somodio).” Ancajas said his next defense is voluntary so he has the option to choose a challenger from among the top 15 contenders. His most recent defense was against mandatory Mexican challenger Jonathan Rodriguez whom he outpointed in Uncasville, Connecticut, last April. There are three Japanese fighters in the top 10 but they may not be available to fly to the US.

Ancajas said any opponent whom Gibbons chooses is acceptable. Hes not dodging anyone. But his dream remains to unify the 115-pound championship. Jimenez said Ancajas will stick to the regimen of running in the morning and doing gymwork in the afternoon on days when hes not sparring. Ancajas is also focused on prepping Sultan for Caraballo, a southpaw like him. “Walang talo si Caraballo at lahat ng panalo by KO,” said Ancajas. “Experience ang advantage ni Jonas at kundisyon. Malaking laban ito para kay Jonas at kung manalo siya, baka magkaroon ng chance for a world title fight sa susunod.” Sultan, who once challenged Ancajas and lost on points in an IBF superflyweight title bout, is now ranked No. 9 by the WBA in the 118-pound division. His biggest win was a 12-round decision over WBO bantamweight ruler JohnRiel Casimero in Cebu in 2017.

Boxing News of London reported that Ancajaswin over Rodriguez was “an unrelenting shootout.” In the eighth round, Ancajas floored Rodriguez with a flurry. “Ancajas made excellent use of his job that connected with unerring accuracy,” said Boxing News writer Nigel Collins. “Every time it seemed the fight might be slipping away, the Filipinos jab steadied the ship.” The three judges scored it for the champion, 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112. Now, Ancajas is waiting for whom to fight next.

JERWIN ANCAJAS
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