Ancajas: From high school dropout to world boxing champion

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Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas’ family wanted him to finish his studies and earn a college degree. Reason why at a young age of nine, his elder brother Jesar introduced him to boxing.

He stopped schooling though after second year in high school, and after only 27 fights ended up a world champion.

“Tinuruan ako ng kuya ko mag-boksing para makapag-aral, madaling makakuha ng trabaho kapag nakatapos at makatulong sa pamilya,” the now 26-year-old International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight belt-owner told The Manila Times in an interview.

“At saka para magkaroon din ng magandang future,” the son of a banana plantation farm hand in Panabo, Davao del Norte said, adding he started as an amateur winning the National Open championship in his division twice and the Palarong Pambansa once.


International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas poses for a photo during his arrival at NAIA Terminal 2 after defending his belt against Jamie Conlan at the SSE Arena in Belfast. PHOTO BY JOHN MICAH SEBASTIAN

And it looks like Kuya Jesar, Tatay Cesario and Nanay Teresita were right in urging Jerwin to make boxing his profession. After annexing the IBF junior bantamweight gonfalon at the expense of Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo September 3, 2016 in only his 27th outing, Jerwin was able to buy a 1,000 square meter lot in Magallanes, Cavite where a beautiful house all of his own stands.

“Hindi naman kalakihan, pero kasya na kami ng mga parents ko, dalawang kapatid ko, my wife Ruth and our two children Kyrie and Kyle,” Jerwin said rather shyly as he thanked his manager-trainer Joven Jimenez for, not only for managing his boxing career but also the business aspect of it.

Ancajas has already defended his title thrice against Jamie Conlan of the United Kingdom (TKO 6TH), Teiru Kinoshita of Japan (TKO 7th) and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico (RTD 7th).

The newest Filipino world boxing champion, considered by many as the successor of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, will be staking his crown against Rodriguez’s countryman Israel Gonzales on February 3 at the American Bank Center in Corpuz Christi Texas under the auspices of Top Rank Promotion.

“Hindi pa, malayo pa,” the soft-spoken Ancajas said by way of reacting to him being compared to the boxing icon now senator. “Incomparable si Sir Manny. Wala siyang katulad,” he quipped.

“Napakarami na niyang nagawa sa boksing. Di mapapantayan ang mga nakuha niyang karangaan di lamang sa sarili niya kundi maging sa ating bansa at sa lahing Pilipino,”

“Bagaman isang napaka­laking karangalan ang maiha­lintulad sa kanya at kahit gustohin naming mga boksingero sa ngayon na gayahin siya, walang makagagaya kay Sir Manny,” he said

Ancajas, born January 1, 1992, is, as of July 2016, ranked as the sixth-best junior bantamweight in the world by The Ring, fifth by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and eighth by BoxRec.

He is the first world champion promoted by MP Promotions, a promotional company owned by Pacquiao. Ancajas currently trains and fights out of Imus.

Ancajas made his professional debut on July 2009 and won all his first 14 fights until he met his match in Mark Anthony Geraldo against whom he suffered a majority decision loss.

His encounter with Kinoshita was an undercard in the Pacquiao-Horn fight in Brisbane on May 2 last year. He signed with Top Rank.

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