Filipino International Boxing Federation junior-bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas flies to Lo Angeles today extremely confident of keeping his 115-pound belt within this shore.
The 26-yeare-old Ancajas is putting his belt on the block against Mexican Israel Gonzales in a 12-round title encounter on February 3 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
“Handang-handa na po,” Ancajas declared in a phone interview with this writer on the eve of his departure. “Ang kailangan ko na lang ay dasal ng ating mga kababayan para ako gabayan ng Panginoon sa darating na laban. Una po sa Diyos at pangalawa sa ating bansa at sa mga Pilipino ang labang ito.”
“I think we’ve covered all the bases in our preparation for this fight, “ Ancajas’ manager-trainer, for his part, said. “We’ve prepared long and hard for this and I can safely say that Jerwin is very much ready not only to fight but win as well.
Jimenez was referring to the more than three-month build up program he and his pupil had undergone since Ancajas last defended the title against Jamie Conlan November last year via a sixth round TKO.
“Jerwin, I should say, is 95 percent ready na, which actually was our target before flying to the US. Gusto ko ‘yun para hindi naman siya masyadong ma-over confident. Kahit na di niya makuha ang 100 percent okay na ‘yun. Lagi kaming ganun.”
Jimenez said Ancajas had logged 90 rounds of sparring since he started training and had been running 30 minutes daily since. “Jerwin started sparring at four rounds, a frequency we raised gradually to six, eight, 10 then 12 rounds I he last four weeks.”
Ancajas though was still six pounds overweight at 121 pounds the last time he visited the scale the other day.
“Pero madali namin makukuha tamang 115-pound limit. May three weeks para makuha ‘yun,” the manager-trainer assured. “Walang dapat ikabahala.”
Asked on his thoughts about his 10-ranked opponent, who has so far won 21 of his 22 fights, 8 by KOs, Ancajas said, “may lakas at bilis, pero kayang talunin. Ilang beses na naming nakita ang mga huling laban niya at tingin ko, kaya.”
Gonzales is a former WBC FECOMBOX Super Flyweight interim Champion and current IBF 10th ranked super-flyweight, He holds notable wins against formidable lower weight division boxers such as Ramon Garcia Hirales, Eduardo Cruz, Mauricio Fuentes and Yonathan Padilla.