Ancajas dangles crown vs Rodriguez; Magsayo battles Cruz in Connecticut

Jerwin Ancajas won't rush into a slugfest against Jonathan Rodriguez in their International Boxing Federation super flyweight title clash on Saturday, April 10 (Sunday, April 11, Philippine time).

He would rather wait for the Mexican challenger to start the assault before firing his cannons.

This is the strategy Ancajas is going to employ against Rodriguez, who promised to wage war from the first round of their closed-door encounter at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

"Jerwin will study Rodriguez's movements and measure up his power before engaging," said head trainer Joven Jimenez in Filipino. "But if Rodriguez goes wild and attacks all-out, Jerwin knows what to do."

Ancajas has dangled his crown eight times since 2017, the most among reigning world champions, and is heavily favored (-1250) over Rodriguez (+650).

Appearing in the United States for the first time, Rodriguez doesn't mind the underdog tag saying "everyone will know my name when the fight is over."

The 25-year-old Rodriguez said he will be banking on power, the right hand in particular, good speed, and the ability to read the ring well to dethrone Ancajas, unbeaten since 2012 with a 32-1-2, 22 knockouts record.

Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KOs) gained a fearsome reputation in his last two fights when he sent former world title contender Felipe Orucuta into a coma and forced retirement, then overwhelmed Julian Yedras in the first round.

Ancajas, of course, is also a heavy puncher having stopped his last two opponents, Japanese Ryuichi Funai and Chilean Miguel Gonzales.

Gearing up  for their twice-postponed bout, both Ancajas and Rodriguez easily made weight on Friday, checking in at 114.8 and 115 pounds, respectively.

According to Jimenez, Ancajas will rehydrate to around 130 pounds on fight night of the Premier Boxing Champions card to be aired by Showtime.

Unbeaten Filipino featherweight prospect Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14 KOs) will tangle with Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6 KOs) in one of the non-televised bouts.

Both Ancajas and Magsayo, being trained by Freddie Roach, are under MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions headed by Sean Gibbons, who is in Uncasville with son and aspiring trainer Brendan and former world title contender Jonas Sultan. – Rappler.com