Will Jerwin jinx Inoue?

SPORTING CHANCE - Joaquin M. Henson - The Philippine Star
Will Jerwin jinx Inoue?
IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
STAR / File

WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue has never lost to a Filipino in five fights while challenger Jerwin Ancajas has never lost to a Japanese in two. When they clash in a scheduled 12-round title bout in Tokyo on Saturday, one streak will be broken unless the match ends in a draw.

Ancajas, 32, is the more experienced boxer with 39 fights under his belt compared to Inoues 19. Hes also the more dangerous KO puncher with 23 abbreviated finishes in 34 wins. Inoue has scored only four KOs in 18 victories. But Inoue, 28, is a tormentor of Filipino fighters, victimizing Mark Anthony Geraldo, Rene Dacquel, Froilan Saludar, Mark John Yap and Jake Bornea. Ancajas hopes to become the first Filipino to pin a loss on Inoue. “Ready na kami,“ said Ancajastrainer Joven Jimenez. “Pagsikapin namin ni Jerwin makuha ang korona.“ Ancajas and Jimenez left for Tokyo last Sunday.

A road warrior, Ancajas has won fights in the US (eight), Macau (three), China (two) and once in Australia, Northern Ireland and Mexico. It will be his Japanese debut. He lost to Geraldo, a common Inoue opponent, on a majority decision in Lapu-Lapu City in 2012 and dropped back-to-back verdicts to Argentinas Fernando Martinez in the US. Ancajas has never been floored. Inoue was decked once by Saludar and once by Frenchman Nordine Oubaali. He bounced back to floor Saludar twice and won on points in 2016 but lost to Oubaali in Saitama in 2019.

Ancajas reigned as IBF superflyweight champion from 2016 to 2022 and has moved up to the bantamweight division in search of a second world crown. He has a slight half-inch height and one-inch reach advantage over Inoue. When Inoue turned pro in 2013, Ancajas had already compiled a 17-1-1 record. Since Inoue isnt a knockout puncher like his “Monsterbrother Naoya, Ancajas is expected to move in and attack early. Ancajas would rather decide the outcome on his terms and not leave his fate to the judges. Referee is Minnesotas Mark Nelson who worked the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight in Brisbane in 2017. Judges are Luigi Boscarelli of Italy, Kim Byung Moo of South Korea and Alex Levin of Florida. WBA supervisor is Won Kim of South Korea. AncajasJapanese victims were Teiru Kinoshita and Ryuchi Funai who both lost inside the distance.

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