Filipino boxers

Ancajas climbing to bantamweight, returning to Philippines in March to rest

Roy Luarca
Ancajas climbing to bantamweight, returning to Philippines in March to rest

MOVING UP. Jerwin Ancajas moves up in weight after struggling to shed the last pound in his latest fight.

Showtime Boxing

Jerwin Ancajas decides to leave the 115-pound division after losing the IBF super flyweight title he held for almost six years

MANILA, Philippines – The time has come for Jerwin Ancajas to climb the bantamweight ladder.

After struggling to make weight and losing the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown to Fernando Martinez at the Cosmopolitan Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, February 26 (Sunday, February 27, Manila time), Ancajas has decided to leave the 115-pound division where he reigned for almost six years.

His trainer, Joven Jimenez, readily agreed, saying he pitied Ancajas for what he went through early Friday, February 25, before the official weigh-in.

According to Jimenez, Ancajas weighed 118 when he woke up and spent two hours in the comfort room trying to shed the excess poundage. He was able to take away a pound and then rested. Starting at 10 am, Ancajas again sweated it out until he finally hit the weight.

By then, however, Ancajas felt drained.

Taking the blame for Ancajas’ weight issue, Jimenez said it was the first time that this happened.

“Usually, on Friday we’ll just work out a bit before the weigh-in,” said Jimenez. “Not this time, he wasn’t really able to recover and rehydrate.”

And the effect showed in Ancajas’ 10th title defense.

By the second round, Ancajas said his legs were cramping, and by the fourth, he was fighting for survival. He relied on instinct and heart to finish standing.

“My body betrayed me,” said Ancajas, now 33-2-2 with 22 knockouts, in Filipino. “I could see his punches. I knew they were coming, but I couldn’t react. Even my brain wouldn’t respond, no muscle memory. So I would just absorb them (punches).”

Ancajas said just like the way he made weight, he relied on pure will and heart to last the distance.

“At least, I gave it all,” said Ancajas, who isn’t inclined to pursue the rematch clause with Martinez, now 14-0 with 8 knockouts.

Instead, he wants to test whether he’d fit in the 118-pound division.

“I’ve fought as a bantamweight before, but it’s been a long time. I would need a tune-up fight to find out how my body will respond.”

Having stayed in the United States since July, Ancajas intends to return to the Philippines with Jimenez in March to rest, relax, and be with his family again.

There’s a new path to take and new obstacles to hurdle. – Rappler.com