Jerwin Ancajas IBF junior bantamweight title challenge this coming weekend might be the most crucial fight of his career.
The crafty fighter from Panabo City, Davao del Norte will try to wrest back the junior bantam strap from Argentina's Fernando Martinez in a 12-round rematch that will take place in Carson City, California.
This time, Ancajas will play the role of the challenger, something that he has not done since fighting McJoe Arroyo in 2016.
"This is a make or break fight para kay Jerwin Ancajas. A very crucial fight para sa ating dating kampeon," said boxing analyst Atty. Ed Tolentino.
"Itong laban na ito kay Martinez siya na ang underdog unlike the first fight. Now the tables have been turned."
Ancajas lost the crown to Martinez in February when the Filipino, who had weight cutting problems, abandoned his tactical style of fighting and went for an all-out brawl with the Argentinean.
As a result, he lost his title via a lopsided decision.
Tolentino suspected that Ancajas' weight troubles have been hounding the Filipino for sometime now.
The analyst prefers the Filipino boxer to forget the junior bantamweight strap and campaign in a heavier weight class.
"I would have wanted him to go for a tune up or completely forget this rematch... Umakyat na siya sa 118 pounds even at 122 kung san hindi siya magpipigil sa timbang, not try to cut weight and get stronger at a heavy weight class," said Tolentino.
He said Ancajas' performance has been dipping for quite sometime as he has been overstaying as a 115-pounder.
"Even before sa laban niya kay Martinez mayroon na siyang mga laban na kung saan yung conditioning niya medyo pumapalpak na rin," Tolentino said.
"'Yung laban niya kay Jonathan Rodriguez and ganda ng simula then all of the sudden nagfade siya at the tail end... Noong 2018, kay Alejandro Santiago nahirapan siya. As early as Round 6 he was complaining of leg cramps. After that fight, which ended in a draw, sinabi niya sa mga handlers niya na aakyat siya ng timbang."
It did not happen and now Ancajas will be meeting Fernandez again in the same weight class.