Manny Pacquiao said he doesn't find anything wrong when people consider world junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas the heir to his throne as the next big name in Philippine boxing.
Pacquiao handles Ancajas' promotional rights in the Philippines through MP Promotions, which recently entered a deal with Top Rank Inc. that paved the way for Ancajas' debut in the United States on February 3.
On that day, Ancajas will defend his title against Israel Gonzalez in Corpus Christi, Texas.
"Manalig lang siya (Ancajas) sa Panginoon, kasi siya ang nagbibigay-lakas at ng tagumpay," was Pacquiao's message to his protégé. "Tiwala rin naman ako sa kaniya."
Boxing pundits see Ancajas succeeding Pacquiao as the next king of Filipino fighters, a tag Pacquiao said should boost Ancajas' confidence.
"Maganda 'yan dahil nakakapag-encourage sa kaniya," Pacquiao said, although he cautioned Ancajas to keep his focus.
"'Wag lang masyadong ilagay sa ulo para hindi magkumpiyansa o maging mayabang. Basta focus and aways humble yourself before others."
In an interview with ABS-CBN News before flying to the US, Ancajas said he is having mixed emotions about his much-awaited US debut.
“Naghahalo po ang pakiramdam. Unang-una may pressure po sa parte ko kasi gusto kong ma-impress at mapasaya ang mga tao sa darating na laban,” he said.
“Humahalo din ang kaba at excitement kasi unang laban ko ito sa US.”
But Ancajas is no stranger to fighting in distant places. He’s already fought in three different time zones: Macau, Brisbane and Belfast in Northern Ireland. All of those fights resulted in impressive stoppages.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)