Boxing: Ancajas on target to make weight for his title defense

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2021 11:23 PM

Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas arrived in Uncasville, Connecticut Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) for his world junior bantamweight mandatory title defense against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez.

Ancajas has spent months in Los Angeles preparing for the much awaited fight, which was postponed twice already.

Now all he has to do is focus on shaving off the excess weight in time for the weigh-in on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).

"Focus na lang kami timbang," said Ancajas' coach Joven Jimenez. "Sa ngayon nasa 117 pounds na lang siya."

The junior bantamweight limit is 115 pounds.

Jimenez said weight cutting is easy for Ancajas since they have religiously been following the program of their nutrition coach Jeaneth Aro.

"Nakakakain pa rin na kanin, ulam at kaunting gulay si Jerwin. Kasi nasa tamang target naman kami," said Ancajas' boxing trainer.

Ancajas will be meeting Rodriguez at the Mohegan Sun Casino Resort in one of the supporting bouts of the Jaron Ennis-Sergey Lipinets fight.

Ancajas wanted to impress, now that he's included under Premier Boxing Champions. A dominant victory could land him more lucrative fights in the future.

Fight analyst Nissi Icasiano said the "Pretty Boy" of Panabo City, Davao De Norte will have to bank on his experience to beat Rodriguez.

Ancajas totes a record of 32-1-2, 22 knockouts, while Rodriguez carries a 22-1 record with 16 knockouts.

"Jerwin has to play to his strengths," he said. "On paper, his opponent looks phenomenal. But the Mexican hasn't fought someone of the same caliber as Jerwin."

Icasiano said Ancajas is the craftier fighter of the two and this should give him the edge over Rodriguez.

"The Filipino southpaw is coming into the fight with the better footwork that provides him advantageous angles and the championship experience which the Mexican doesn't have at the moment," he said.

It will be Ancajas' ninth title defense since winning the crown from McJoe Arroyo in 2016.

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