If everything falls into place, Jerwin Ancajas might become the next big thing in Philippine boxing after Manny Pacquiao.
For that to happen, Ancajas needs to be paired against the right opponents and land enough TV exposure, Las Vegas matchmaker Sean Gibbons said.
In an interview with veteran sports commentator Joaquin Henson, Gibbons described the reigning world junior bantamweight king as the “future of Philippine boxing.”
“I think among the Filipino world champions today, Jerwin has the most potential to make it big in the global market as an attraction,” said the matchmaker, who used to work with Bob Arum and Top Rank Inc.
“I respect Donnie Nietes and Milan Melindo but Jerwin’s division is the hottest in boxing at the moment with guys like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, Naoya Inoue and Carlos Cuadras.”
Just recently, he arranged Ancajas’ fight against rising Irish prospect Jamie Conlan in a title defense to take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on November 18.
The 30-year-old Conlan is rated No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation and No. 3 by the World Boxing Organization. He is known for his in-your-face brawling style that resulted in 11 knockout victories in 19 pro wins.
A victory over the Irish boxer could pave the way for the 25-year-old for his much-awaited break in the US.
“Everything will depend on how he performs against Conlan,” said Gibbons. “The plan is to eventually bring Jerwin to the US the same way Manny broke through.”
Ancajas is also expected to make his mandatory defense in early 2018 against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan, who recently outwitted Johnriel Casimero.
Gibbons hopes Ancajas will also be given more TV exposure, just like Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
“He needs live exposure, not a delayed telecast two weeks after a fight,” he said. “I’m convinced if the networks give Jerwin a chance, he’ll be the next big thing in Philippine boxing.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)