Published On: Tue, Apr 23rd, 2019

Ancajas 95% ready as he leaves for U.S. title tiff

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The Filipino champion will be making his 7th title defense of his IBF super flyweight crown

Published 8:05 PM, April 23, 2019

Updated 8:07 PM, April 23, 2019

KEEPING THE THRONE. Jerwin Ancajas nears his deadliest form heading into his title defense. Photo by Alvin S. Go/Rappler

KEEPING THE THRONE. Jerwin Ancajas nears his deadliest form heading into his title defense. Photo by Alvin S. Go/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas was on the verge of hitting optimum form when he left for San Francisco, California, Tuesday night, April 23.

Ancajas’ weight is down to 123 pounds, his speed and power are better, and his stamina is built up for his seventh defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown on May 4 (May 5, Philippine time).

According to chief trainer Joven Jimenez, Ancajas is already 95% ready for his 12-round bout against Japanese Ryuichi Funai at the Stockton Arena.

Jimenez wants Ancajas to reach the apex of his physical and mental prowess on the finishing stage of their preparations in the United States.

Determined to atone for his below par performance in his last two bouts against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan (unanimous decision) and Mexican Alejandro Santiago Barrios (split draw), respectively, Ancajas spent the crucial phase of his training under Jimenez at the secluded Marine Base training facility in Ternate, Cavite.

Fact is, Ancajas and Jimenez continued their preparations during the Holy Week, taking a break only on Good Friday.

Ancajas held his last sparring session in the country on Monday, April 22, followed by a Mass attended by his family and well-wishers. (READ: Ancajas embraces change to boost upcoming title defense)

The pride of Panabo City still trained on Tuesday before Team Ancajas took the direct flight to San Francisco, where they’ll travel by land to Stockton, 132 kilometers away from the airport.

Ancajas and Jimenez were accompanied by boxer Gerald Dinega, ring announcer Mark Lontayao, promoter Ruel Caaminio and Vergel Jimenez, Joven’s older brother.

According to Jimenez, they will still do gym work and light sparring in Stockton, where they will be joined later by cutman Todd Makelim, dietician/nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and international matchmaker Sean Gibbons, who arranged Ancajas’ fight for Top Rank and MP Promotions, which co-handles Ancajas.

A sendoff was held for Ancajas at NAIA 2 with Brigadier General Dante Hidalgo, who is the Commander of the Naval Reserve Command, Philippine Navy Colonel Nestor Narag, Deputy Commander Colonel Joseph Nabutel, and Chief of Staff Lieutenant Colonel Rocky Carreon in attendance. –

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