No weight issue for Jerwin

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — It’s less than a week before Jerwin Ancajas returns to the ring in his attempt to regain the IBF superflyweight title he lost to unbeaten Argentine Olympian Fernando Martinez and from all indications, weight won’t be an issue this time. Ancajas struggled to make weight and was far from peak form when he yielded the throne to Martinez on points in Las Vegas last February. Now, Ancajas’ coach/manager Joven Jimenez said it’s a different story.

“No problem ang timbang,” said Jimenez. “Nasa 121 pounds na si Jerwin at maganda ang kain niya. Salamat sa kaniyang nutritionist Bianca Estrella ng PSC. Makukuha niya ang 115 sa weigh-in. Focus lang siya sa laban.” Ancajas started training at the Naval Special Operations Group headquarters in Sangley Point last August then moved to the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite before landing in the US two weeks ago. MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons arranged for Ancajas and his team to stay in a four-bedroom, three-bathroom house on Bermuda Road, Las Vegas. Ancajas worked out at the Top Rank Gym with sparmates Jonas Sultan, John Mark Alimane and Daniel Lim in the final stretch of training and will fly to Los Angeles tomorrow for his appointment with Martinez at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City on Saturday (Sunday morning, Manila time).

Ancajas said he’ll do what it takes to bring the title back home. He’s keeping his fight plan a secret. Ancajas promised Martinez will be in for a surprise. “Kung anong kailangan kong gawin, gagawin ko,” he said. “Footwork, kombinasyon, depensa, in-and-out, sabayan. Nag-cramps ako sa first fight, nanghina ako pero laban pa rin hanggang dulo. Babawiin ko ang korona para sa bayan.”

Gibbons said the big factor in Ancajas losing the title was his weight struggle. “When Jerwin’s fight against (Kazuto) Ioka was cancelled, his weight went crazy, up to about 140,” recalled Gibbons. “Then came the Martinez fight. Losing the last two pounds was tough then his body shut down. He wasn’t the same Jerwin and even if he wasn’t, he still put up a fight. For the rematch, we went old school. Jerwin started training in the Philippines then came to the US three weeks before the fight unlike before when he trained like three to six months in the US away from his family.”

Jimenez, Gibbons’ son Brendan and cutman Fernando Parcon will be in Ancajas’ corner for the fight. Tokyo Olympic middleweight bronze medalist Eumir Marcial will see action against 6-1 Steven Pichardo in a sixer in the undercard.


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