world boxing

Ancajas underdog vs Inoue in world title battle in Tokyo

Roy Luarca

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Ancajas underdog vs Inoue in world title battle in Tokyo

BACK-TO-BACK. Jerwin Ancajas absorbs another resounding loss to Fernando Martinez in their rematch.

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The odds hardly matter for Jerwin Ancajas and his camp, believing the world title fight against favored Japanese Takuma Inoue remains ‘very winnable’

MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas will be the underdog when he seeks Takuma Inoue’s World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight crown on Saturday, February 24, at the Kokugikan Arena in Tokyo.

Latest figures on betting sites put Ancajas at +250, meaning a $100 bet on the Filipino challenger becomes $250 if he wins. 

Takuma, younger brother of four-division world champion Naoya Inoue, was installed a -250 favorite, meaning a $250 bet on the Japanese will earn $100 if he prevails.

For Ancajas, the former longtime International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion, and his trainer/manager Joven Jimenez, the odds hardly matter.

They’ve trained long and hard for the fight originally set November 15 but got pushed back after Inoue sustained a fractured rib during training.

Jimenez believes their preparations, which started in Las Vegas last June and picked up last December at the Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, would be enough to put Ancajas back at the helm despite a 16-month layoff.

Ancajas reigned at the 115-pound division from 2016 to 2020 before eventually outgrowing it and absorbing back-to-back losses to Fernando Martinez.

In his return on June 24, 2023, Ancajas fought at 121 pounds and stopped Wilner Soto in the fifth round.

Now, Ancajas is dropping to 118, where his punching power that has knocked out 23 of his 34 victims in a record that also included 3 losses and 2 draws, would be felt more.

Although Takuma is a light puncher (18-1, 4 knockouts), Jimenez said Ancajas won’t rush in and would measure up the Japanese’ prowess in the early rounds.

Like Jimenez, MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons believes that Takuma is a “very winnable” fight for Ancajas.

Team Ancajas will be leaving for Tokyo on Sunday morning, February 18, and will train right away so as not to gain weight. –

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