Boxing: Training continues for Ancajas despite postponement of Ioka fight

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2021 07:13 PM | Updated as of Dec 08 2021 08:31 PM

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Jerwin Ancajas and his coach Joven Jimenez were obviously frustrated by the postponement of the boxer's title unification fight with Japan's Kazuto Ioka.

The IBF junior bantamweight champion was supposed to take on Ioka, the WBO king, on New Year's Eve in Japan. But Japan has decided to close its borders to foreign travelers due to the threat of the COVID-19 omicron variant.

"Medyo malungkot kami ni Jerwin," Jimenez told ABS-CBN News.

The title unification is a fight they have long sought as Ancajas has been reigning as world junior bantamweight king since 2016 and has already made nine successful title defenses.

This was not the first time Ancajas experienced delays in his fights.

His title defense against Jonathan Rodriguez was postponed twice until they met in April. He defeated the Mexican via unanimous decision.

The same thing happened when Ancajas was made to wait before he could get that title shot against McJoe Arroyo. He beat the Puerto Rican and crowned himself as the IBF champion in September 2016.

"Sanay na kami ganyan," said Jimenez, who groomed the crafty Ancajas to become a world champion. "Move on na kami agad. Ganyan talaga sa boxing sanay kami sa ganyan."

He said the secret to their success is to keep training and be ready in case another break opens up.

But Jimenez said they still prefer taking on Ioka as their next fight.

"Hiningi talaga ni Jerwin ang laban na 'to. Si Ioka pa rin target," he said.

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