Filipino boxers

Ancajas tackles Rodriguez first before getting 2nd vaccine jab

Roy Luarca

FINAL PHASE. Jerwin Ancajas starts to taper off his training before leaving for Connecticut on April 6.

File photo by Alvin S.Go/Rappler

‘I'm in good condition,’ says Jerwin Ancajas just weeks before his title defense against Mexican Jonathan Rodriguez

Jerwin Ancajas will finish the task at hand before getting his second jab of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Still training in Los Angeles, Ancajas will dangle the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown against Mexican Jonathan Rodriguez on Saturday, April 10 (Sunday, April 11, Philippine time) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

According to Ancajas, Tokyo Olympics-bound Eumir Marcial, sparring partner Jonas Sultan, chief trainer Joven Jimenez, and assistant trainer Brendan Gibbons got their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine with him a few weeks back in Las Vegas.

Jimenez, Marcial, Sultan, and Gibbons are returning to Las Vegas for their second doses on Saturday while Ancajas and MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons remain at their rented house in LA.

Jimenez said Ancajas is now on the descent phase of his training and will work out at Freddie Roach’s  Boxing Gym in Hollywood for the last time on Friday.

“We will be by ourselves,” said Jimenez. “We don’t want to take the risk of getting exposed to COVID.”

Ancajas (32-1-2,22 knockouts) will hold his last training session, focused on refining strategy and technique, at their makeshift ring at home on April 5 before taking the flight to Connecticut with Jimenez and the Gibbons on April 6.

Jimenez and the younger Gibbons will man Ancajas’ corner against Rodriguez (22-1, 16 knockouts) on April 10.

“I’m in good condition,” said Ancajas in Filipino. “It was easier for me to make weight this time although I’m eating what I want.”

On Wednesday, Ancajas weighed 123 pounds, just 8 pounds over the limit.

Ancajas’ fight with Rodriguez will be shown on a delayed basis over One Sports through Cignal TV from 3 to 5 pm.

Unbeaten Filipino prospect Mark Magsayo (21-9, 14 KOs) tangles with Pablo Cruz (21-3, 5 KOs) in a featherweight 10-rounder on the same Premier Boxing Champions card.

Since the Magsayo bout is non-televised, Gibbons is still working out to have it shown in the Philippines as well. –