Ancajas changes sparring stance

Roy Luarca
After drawing Japanese Ryuichi Funai as his next foe, Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas shifts training gears


TITLE DEFENSE. Jerwin Ancajas prepares for the seventh defense of his IBF super flyweight crown. File photo by Alvin Brian Go


MANILA, Philippines – There’s a sudden shift in Jerwin Ancajas’ training at Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite. 

After drawing Japanese Ryuichi Funai as his next foe in April instead of Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Ancajas and chief trainer Joven Jimenez need to overhaul their sparring sessions with 4 partners and prepare for a different fighting stance.

Ancajas – a lefty like Rungvisai – and his team have to shelve the southpaw stance and revert to the right-handed style as Funai is an orthodox fighter.

Fortunately, Ancajas’ preparations for his seventh defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown haven’t gone full blast yet.

Though Ancajas trains twice daily, his sparring sessions are only for 4 rounds thus far, according to Jimenez.

“At least, we are now training for a particular style,” said Jimenez. “Unlike before when we are still waiting for Srisaket’s answer.”

The camp of Srisaket, the World Boxing Council super flyweight titlist, chose a rematch with Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada rather than face Ancajas in a unification bout.

Jimenez said Ancajas usually runs in the morning and does gym work in the afternoon. For variety,  Jimenez sometimes reverses the training order.

What’s important, according to Jimenez, is for Ancajas to continue his physical conditioning and peak in time for the title duel to be held either April 12 or April 20.

If international matchmaker Sean Gibbons and Top Rank Promotions pick the April 12 card, Ancajas-Funai will serve as chief support of Vasiliy Lomachenko’s title defense at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

If it’s on April 20, Ancajas-Funai will be the main supporting bout of Terence Crawford’s title defense against Amir Khan at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Either way, Ancajas will gain ample exposure as both fights are on pay-per-view.

Held to a split draw by unheralded Alejandro Santiago Barrios  in his sixth title defense last September, Ancajas wants to show the world he deserves a crack at Rungvisai. –