International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas defends his title against Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez today (Philippine time) at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Top Rank Promotion chief Bob Arum is confident that Ancajas (28-1-1 win-loss-draw record with 19 knockouts) can live up to the people’s expectations to win his fourth title defense. Ancajas KO’d his three previous challengers last year.
“He (Gonzalez) is a dangerous opponent but we believe Jerwin will prevail victorious because he is a better fighter each time out,” Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call.
“I think he is going to do very well. We have great high hopes for him in this fight and in the future,” he added.
After making the super flyweight limit during Saturday’s weigh-in, trainer and manager Joven Jimenez said the Panabo Davao del Norte boxer is ready to face the Mexican challenger and retain his crown for the fourth time.
“Everything is ready and we hit our target perfectly as far as preparation is concerned. We’re expecting Gonzalez to come out aggressive and Jerwin should dictate the tempo of the fight,” said Jimenez.
“With regards to knockout, we will just let it come and we are not going to focus on that too much,” he added.
The 26-year-old fighter weighed in at 114.75 pounds in the scale while Gonzalez (21-1 win-loss record with eight knockouts) tipped the scale at 114 pounds.
Arum said he was surprised that Ancajas was warmly welcomed in Texas, a US state which is a stronghold of over a million Hispanics.
“He (Ancajas) created a big impression here in Texas and we are all excited. There are big articles on him in the newspaper,” said Arum.
After his impressive knockout wins against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico, Teiru Kinoshita of Japan and Irish Jamie Conlan last year, Ancajas was given a chance to showcase his boxing skills in the US for the first time by the Top Rank Promotion.
Gonzalez, known for being a smart and aggressive pug, is coming off an eight-fight winning streak. He scored a technical knockout win over Raymundo Hernandez of Nicaragua in Mexico last November 3.
Undefeated Mexican World Boxing Organization super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez (36-0 record with 24 knockouts) battles another unbeaten fighter Habib Ahmed (25-0-1 record with 17 knockouts) of Ghana in the other main event bout.