Ancajas ready for title defense vs Conlan

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Reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas expressed readiness for his upcoming third world title defense against Irish Jamie Conlan on November 18 at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Trainer Joven Jimenez told The Manila Times on Sunday that the 25-year-old Ancajas (27-1-1 win-loss-draw record with 18 knockouts) is now 90 percent ready in terms of health and fighting condition heading to the bout against the undefeated Conlan (19-0 win-loss record with 11 knockouts).

“We already finished 80 rounds of sparring session and Jerwin is improving everyday. He is becoming faster and stronger than before with only a month a week left,” Jimenez said. “Technically, we are studying the moves and styles of his opponent. We can’t be complacent because we’re going to fight in the enemy’s territory.”

Jimenez said they won’t leave any stone unturned before flying to Ireland next month.

Conlan, 30, who is the elder brother of 25-year-old former Rio Olympian boxer Michael, won over Nicaraguan Yader Cardoza via split decision last March 10 also in Belfast to capture the World Boxing Council (WBC) International silver super flyweight crown.

“We are doing everything the best we can to score a convincing win. I know it is not going to be easy for Jerwin, but I believe he can do it,” said Jimenez.

After successfully winning the title last year in September against Puerto Rican McJoe Arroyo in Taguig City, Ancajas retained the title in his first defense against Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez last January 29 via sixth round technical knockout victory in Macau, China.

He also scored a gruesome seventh round technical knockout win over Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita last July 2 in Brisbane, Australia, as one of the undercard bouts of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn main event fight.

Ancajas’ next fight, if he successfully keeps the belt, will be a fourth title defense against compatriot Jonas Sultan early next year. Sultan defeated fellow Filipino Johnriel Casimero via unanimous decision last September 16 in a title-eliminator fight set by the IBF in Cebu City.

JOSEF T. RAMOS

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