Boxing: Ancajas unfazed by hostile Irish crowd

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 08 2017 04:41 PM

Jerwin Ancajas with his trainer Joven Jimenez. Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Reigning IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas doesn't mind fighting his challenger, Jamie Conlan, in front of a rowdy, hostile Irish crowd at the SSE Arena in Belfast.

"Isipin ko na lang po na fans ko din 'yun," quipped the 25-year-old Panabo City native in an interview with ABS-CBN News.

In a more serious tone, Ancajas said he doesn't take it personally when a crowd cheers for his foe.

"Natural naman po na ganun ang mangyari, na suportahan nila ang boxer nila, kahit naman sa atin sir," he explained. "Sa akin focus na lang talaga ako sa laban sir. Walang personalan."

Conlan was earlier quoted as saying that he will make the best of his home advantage. “(He) comes now to a hostile, volatile cauldron in Belfast,” he siad.

Ancajas (27-1-1) said he expects a tough challenge from the "Irish Gatti," who hasn't tasted defeat in 19 fights.

Conlan, brother of the fast rising former Olympian Mike Conlan, is known for his brawling ways, having stopped 11 of his 19 foes.

"Matapang ito. Brawler siya, pero pwede siyang lumaban sa labas," said the Filipino champion.
 
Ancajas will defend the crown on November 18 in a card that will feature Carl "The Jackal" Frampton's return since losing his WBA featherweight title to Leo Sta. Cruz. 

Frampton will begin his comeback against Horacio Garcia.

When asked if the Irish climate will have any effect on Ancajas, his coach Joven Jimenez said part of their preparations for the cold Belfast weather is having the Filipino spend a week in Ireland before the bout.

The average temperature in Belfast is 15°C.

"Lilipad na kami doon nitong Friday para masanay na agad siya sa lamig," said Jimenez. "At saka kailangan lang naman niyang mag-warm up ng mabuti bago ang laban."

Ancajas also said that he's already getting used to the cold weather in Magallanes, Cavite where they spend the whole duration of their camp.

"Minsan nagpupunta rin kami sa Tagaytay para masanay lang sa lamig."

(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)