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Sports

Neri calls on Jerwin to pour it on

Joaquin Henson - The Philippine Star
Neri calls on Jerwin to pour it on
IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Jerwin Ancajas can’t afford to be stingy with his punches, and well-known boxing trainer Nonoy Neri’s advice is to let his hands go every single round against WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue in Tokyo tonight.

“Kaya ni Jerwin si Takuma,” said Neri who earned his spurs working with Manny Pacquiao. “Kailangan lang niya maraming suntok. Mahina si Takuma. Huwag mag-stay sa harap ni Takuma at dapat si Jerwin mag-control ng laban. Sa galing, lamang si Jerwin. Knockout ang maganda kasi hometown ni Takuma. Basta damihan lang niya ang suntok.”

Ancajas said he’s not taking any chances although Inoue’s punching power is suspect, considering only four KOs in 18 wins. His plan is to test the waters in the early rounds then adjust to Inoue’s style, whether to initiate engaging or box from a distance. Inoue was floored by Filipino Froilan Saludar but got up to return the favor twice in scoring a unanimous 10-round decision in 2016. The Japanese was decked once more by Frenchman Nordine Oubaali and this time, he lost on points in 2019. Ancajas has never been knocked down and his three losses were by decision.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who’s in Tokyo to witness the action, said Ancajas is in the right frame of mind and in the best physical condition. “Jerwinner’s in unbelievable spirits,” he said. “There’s no comparison between Takuma and his brother Naoya. Takuma is a complete boxer, moves around and tries to outpoint you while Naoya is an athletic banger. Takuma’s style matches up nicely with Jerwin’s.” 

Gibbons said for what Ancajas has gone through, he deserves a break. “Jerwin’s overcome a lot of things like COVID, two postponements of fights against (Kazuto) Ioka in Japan, this fight delayed because of Inoue’s injury in training,” he said. “Jerwin will make his own destiny. He’s got the whole package for this fight.”

Although Ancajas is making his debut as a bantamweight, he’s not worried. After ending his six-year reign as IBF superflyweight champion in 2022, Ancajas moved up to superbantamweight and stopped Wilner Soto last June. Then, he got a call to drop down to bantamweight for the chance to win a second world crown and his moment of truth will come tonight.

 

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