Ancajas nears top shape in title defense vs Barrios
MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas intends to impress when he makes a maiden appearance at the Oracle Arena, home court of NBA champion Golden State Warriors, in Oakland, California, on September 29. He takes on Alejandro Santiago Barrios of Mexico in a scheduled 12-rounder.
Unable to dazzle in his fifth defense of the International Boxing Federation super flyweight crown against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan in Fresno, California, on April 27, Ancajas wants to leave a mark in his third appearance in the US.
That's why Ancajas is deep in his preparations at Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, under the guidance of trainer/manager Joven Jimenez.
According to Ancajas, the longer break after the Sultan conquest enabled his body to recuperate fully and heightened his desire to train again.
"Naging excited ulit ang katawan kong mag-training. Hinahanap ko 'yung mahirap na masarap," said Ancajas. (My body got excited to train again. I crave for a hard but satisfying training)
With a nutritionist supervising his diet and new strengthening methods being implemented by conditioning coach Delfin Boholst, Ancajas believes he's nearing tiptop shape for the fight originally set in Fresno, California, then supposedly in Pechanga, before finally landing in Oakland – 20 kilometers from San Francisco.
"Pakiramdam ko mas kondisyon ako ngayon," (I feel that I have a better condition now.) said Ancajas, who's training six times a week and is sparring with featherweight and fellow Panabo City native Neil John Tabanao and 3 other fighters.
"Sa tingin ko mas malakas at mas mabilis si Jerwin ngayon. He want to make the fans happy this time." (I feel that I Jerwin is stronger and faster now. He wants to make the fans happy this time.)
Jimenez said they'll be leaving for San Francisco on September 19 to wrap up training and acclimatize.
The original plan was for Team Ancajas to leave for the US on September 21, but international matchmaker Sean Gibbons convinced the group to plane in earlier.
While Barrios' record of 16-2-4 with 7 knockouts doesn't appear impressive, Gibbons said just like all Mexican fighters, the Tijuana native is dangerous and can't be taken lightly.
Of course, Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 knockouts) never underestimates an opponent.
Fact is, he has been working out even harder to make sure that he's prepared for whatever Barrios will bring to the ring.
After watching tapes of Barrios' last few fights, particularly against Jose Martinez on March 13 which ended in a split draw, Ancajas said he ought to be careful as the Mexican is a combination of a brawler and stylist with power.
Ancajas, however, is elated that Barrios' style will pave the way for a more entertaining fight than when he beat Sultan by unanimous decision.
According to Ancajas, the postponement of the bout originally set September 14 was a blessing in disguise as it would allow him to witness the birth of his third child and first daughter scheduled mid-September.
Though he doesn’t promise a knockout, Ancajas wants a dominant performance that would set him up for a big money fight next year against either Mexican Juan Estrada or Thai star Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the World Boxing Council champion. – Rappler.com