FILIPINO world champion Jerwin Ancajas moved closer on the verge of stardom after Top Rank Promotions signed him to a six-fight deal starting with his February 3 title defense against Israel Gonzales of Mexico.
Ancajas manager and trainer Joven Jimeneza confirmed the good news to SPIN.ph on Christmas eve. He added the contract was delivered and signed through email.
"Two days ago when we signed the contract," he said Sunday. "Kailangan na kasi for visa purposes."
The two-year contract guarantees Ancajas of fighting at least three times per year, according to top promoter Bob Arum, especially if he keeps piling up the wins the way he’s been doing now.
Fightnight.com was the first to report of Top Rank signing up Ancajas.
“It’s a potential six-fight deal,” said Arum. “His fights will either be co-features on our ESPN cards on big pay-per-view cards as one of the televised fights.”
Ancajas’ defense of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight crown against Gonzales will be included in ESPN’s boxing card to be televised live from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas as a co-feature of the super-middleweight title bout between reigning champ Gilberto Ramirez and Habib ‘Wild Hurricane’ Ahmed. The match marks Ancajas' U.S. debut.
The 25-year-old Filipino from Panabo, Davao del Norte currently fights under the MP Promotions of boxing great Manny Pacquiao, who’s being handled by Arum for more than a decade now.
Arum went on record and called Ancajas as ‘the next Manny Pacquiao.’
“He’s a very, very exciting fighter. He’s all action. He could really become an attraction,” stressed Arum.
“Am I definite about that? No, but there’s a potential for him to become a major attraction, at least at the level or even higher of a Nonito Donaire – that type of attraction.”
Ancajas has been on a roll, winning his last 15 fights, including the last against Irishman Jamie Conlan (sixth round TKO) to retain his 115-lbs title belt last Nov. 28 in Belfast, Ireland.
The victory over the previously unbeaten Conlan was the third successful title defense of Ancajas in 2017. He won the IBF belt by scoring a unanimous decision win over McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico last year.
Ancajas hasn’t lost since being outpointed (majority decision) by Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012 during their 10-round bout at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu. His record currently stands at 28-1-1, with 19 KOs.