Ancajas, Casimero hope to defend crowns in July

Roy Luarca
Ancajas, Casimero hope to defend crowns in July
MP Promotions thinks Filipino boxers Jerwin Ancajas and Johnriel Casimero  can still defend their world titles this year



MANILA, Philippines – The target date is July for Filipino boxers Jerwin Ancajas and Johnriel Casimero to finally defend their world crowns in Las Vegas.

Sean Gibbons, president of MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions, is hopeful the COVID-19 pandemic will ease up so that Ancajas’ ninth defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight title against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, originally set April 5 pushes through at Cosmopolitan Hotel.

If that twice-stalled title duel happens, Casimero’s much-awaited bantamweight unification showdown against Japanese Naoya “Monster” Inoue, originally slated April 25, is sure to follow at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Though Bob Arum, Top Rank Promotions head honcho, has announced Casimero will have to face Joshua Greer, the No. 1 challenger to his World Boxing Association 118-pound belt instead, because Inoue, the World Boxing Association and IBF king, remains holed up in Japan, Gibbons insists the Japanese will be able to fly to the United States in July.

Fact is, Gibbons continues to monitor Casimero’s training under Nonoy Neri and assistant Ting Ariosa in a spacious house in Las Vegas, motivating the stranded partners to stick with their daily regimen as Inoue is coming to town.

 “I’ve assured him (Casimero) that the Monster is coming. We’re preparing for July. We’ll be waiting for July. We’re waiting for the Monster,” said Gibbons in a Facebook  video.

The same stay-busy order goes for Ancajas and chief trainer Joven Jimenez, who are doing their workouts at their self-sufficient Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite.

According to Jimenez, Gibbons informed him “Top Rank has a date in July,” and they must head to Las Vegas once travel restrictions are lifted.

Jimenez assured Gibbons that Ancajas “is doing good in training” and will be ready whenever the bout will be held.

Despite doing everything in low intensity to prevent burnout, Jimenez said Ancajas’ weight hovers at 135 pounds, which is within the limit set by nutritionist/dietitian Jeaneth Aro.

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman is battling for the reopening of the entertainment city soon, but Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is not inclined to lift the lockdown until June. –


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