JERWIN Ancajas hopes to feel right at home when he stakes his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-bantamweight title on Sunday (Manila time) against Ryuichi Funai in Stockton, California.
The 27-year-old champion is banking on the support of a large Filipino community which he hopes would show up for the seventh defense of his 115-lb. belt.
Ancajas visited nearby ‘Little Manila’ on Tuesday as he paid respect to the area which was once home to Filipino-American agricultural workers from the 1930s and on.
“Maraming Pilipino dito kaya sana nga suportahan nila si Jerwin,” said trainer Joven Jimenez.
The champion can use all the support he could get.
Although already 33-years-old, Funai remains a dangerous challenger against the Filipino.
“Matibay at may experience din naman. At tsaka magaling din,” said Jimenez of the Japanese fighter from Tokyo.
Jimenez even considers Funai better than Teiru Kinoshita, the Japanese challenger who Ancajas destroyed inside seven rounds during his title defense in Brisbane, Australia two years ago in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title bout.
Jimenez said everything has been covered in training camp and Ancajas is now in the process of trying to make the 115-lb. limit.
At the moment, the champion now weighs at 118.
“Kaunti na lang. Kaya na yan,” said Jimenez.
Ancajas will have his media day on Thursday (Manila time).