Fit as a fiddle.
This is how IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas described himself less than a month before making his seventh title defense against challenger Ryuichi Funai of Japan in their 12-round title match in Stockton, California, USA on April 4.
“Handang-handa na ako (against Funai). Tuloy-tuloy lang ang ensayo hanggang sa araw ng laban,” said Ancajas during his appearance in the 14th “Usapang Sports” by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club in Intramuros yesterday.
Ancajas, who won by split decision over Alejandro Santiago of Mexico at the Oracle Arena in California last April 2018, said he is confident he will beat his Japanese challenger either through knockout or decision.
“Ayoko po magsabi kung anong rounds matatapos. Basta gagawin ko lahat ng aking makakaya,” added Ancajas, who is unbeaten in his last 18 fights since losing by majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in Lapu Lapu City in April 2012.
The 27-year-old pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte captured the IBF junior bantamweight crown with a 12-round unanimous decision victory over McJoe Arroyo in Taguig last Sept. 3, 2016.
He has so far defeated six opponents — Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico, Teiru Kinoshita of Japan, Jamie Conlan of Ireland, Israel Gonzales of Mexico, compatriot Jonas Sultan and Santiago — since winning over Arroyo.
He also won the IBF Pan-Pacific first-round knockout victory over Petchwanchai Sor Visetkit of Thailand at the University of Southern Philippines gym in Davao City last May 3, 2014.
In the same forum, Ancajas thanked world champion Manny Pacquiao for helping him and other aspiring boxers to achieve their goals.
“Talagang inspirasyon naming lahat si Sir Manny (Pacquiao). Malaki talaga ang naitutulong nya,” added Ancajas, who will be honored as “Boxer of the Year” during the 19th Gabriel “Flash” Elorde Memorial Awards: Banquet of Champions on March 25 at Okada Manila.
Ancajas said, like Pacquiao, he is now trying to invest some of his winnings in businesses “in preparation for his life after boxing.”
Ancajas was accompanied during the sports forum by his manager Joven Jimenez and Elorde Memorial Awards organizers Johnny and Liza Elorde and brothers Juan Miguel and Juan Martin Elorde.
The weekly session is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and National Press Club (NPC) and shown on Facebook live via Glitter Livestream.
Tags: Alejandro Santiago, Alejandro Santiago of Mexico, IBF junior bantamweight, Jerwin Ancajas, Jonas Sultan, Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Joven Jimenez, Juan Martin Elorde, Manny Pacquiao, McJoe Arroyo, Okada Manila, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Teiru Kinoshita, TOPS, Usapang Sports