End of the road for Ancajas?

Abac Cordero - Philstar.com
End of the road for Ancajas?
A dejected Jerwin Ancajas, who lost via knockout to WBA bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue, is being consoled by his trainer Joven Jimenez.
STAR / Abac Cordero

TOKYO – Jerwin Ancajas felt like a lesser man Saturday evening after being knocked out and losing to a fighter he was supposed to beat.

The bout against Japan’s Takuma Inoue ended with Ancajas on his knees, in pain, and trying to catch his breath after taking a vicious body shot.

Ancajas blew a chance to redeem himself after two defeats to Argentina’s Fernando Martinez in a span of eight months in 2022.

He came here hoping to be crowned as “the new” WBA bantamweight champion. But not this time, or perhaps never again.

Inside his dressing room after the fight, Anjacas looked tired and weary. He seemed to have lost his self-esteem, his confidence, his will.

“’Yung morale ko ngayon ang baba talaga,” he said as he sat on a folding chair, his chief trainer, Joven Jimenez, by his side.

“Nakakawalang kumpiyansa ba,” added Ancajas, who was knocked out in the ninth round, and dropped to 34-4-2. It was the first knockout loss for the former super-flyweight champion.

He tried hard against Inoue, younger and now 19-1 with only five knockout wins. But Ancajas appeared slower than he used to be, short with his punches and easier to hit.

Inside the ring, the pride of Davao del Norte made Inoue look good, as good as his elder brother, Naoya, the king of the super-bantamweight class.

Ancajas is unsure of what to do even if his trainer, and his promoter, Sean Gibbons, felt that it’s not the end of the road.

“We’ll get you another chance, champ. One or two wins then another shot at the world title,” said Gibbons.

Ancajas, who’s expecting his fifth child, tried to be careful with his words.

“Hanapin ko muna yung kumpiyansa ko. Nakakawala kasi ng kumpiyansa‘ yung ganitong pagkatalo. Sana magtiwala pa sa akin sila Sir Sean, sila coach. Pero ganito talaga ang boxing,” he said.

Ancajas tried to describe the pain that he felt after taking the body shot he has never experienced in his entire career.

“Nag-breakdown talaga ‘yung katawan ko. Parang pinutol ‘yung hininga ko. Ngayon lang ako tinamaan ng ganun. Kahit sa sparring, kaya ko ang body shots,“ said Ancajas.

He admitted that he was a different boxer on top of the Kokugikan Arena, the epicenter of Japanese sumo wrestling.

“Nawala ‘yung pagiging matalino ko sa taas ng ring. Ewan ko ba. Sa boxing career ko, ‘yun ang pinaka-ayaw ko na ganun ‘yung pangyayari na ako ‘yung pinaglalaruan sa taas ng ring, mas naging matured pa siya tingnan sa akin sa taas ng ring,” he said.

“Dito sa laban na ito, parang naging bobo ako sa taas ng ring, Bakit ang dali ko tamaan? Pero sa sparring hindi naman. Ewan ko bakit naging ganyan ang nangyari sa akin. Ito lang hindi ko alam,” Ancajas said.

He’s that close to calling it quits.

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