BRISBANE, Australia – For Jerwin Ancajas, it will be a whole lot different experience this time.
Ancajas fights anew in the undercard of a Manny Pacquiao title fight, although he admitted feeling a bit anxious than he was the first time he did it three years ago.
Other than serving as the main supporting bout of the Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight championship match where Ancajas defends his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight crown, the soft-spoken 25-year-old champ will be showing his wares before a huge crowd expected to hit the 50,000 mark at the Suncorp Stadium here on Sunday.
Ancajas wasn’t a world champion yet when he saw action in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Chris Algeiri World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title fight in Macau in 2014.
Fighting in the big stage for the first time, the proud native of Panabo City, Davao del Norte was the first featured match in the card and fought Fadhili Majiha of Tanzania before a still sparse Cotai Arena crowd.
“Undercard ako kay Manny noon, ako yung unang lumaban kaya wala pa halos tao sa venue,” he recalled of the bout which he won by knockout in the third round.
Now, Ancajas admitted feeling both excited and axious to fight in front of a humongous crowd five days from now when he stakes his championship belt against Korean-born Teiru Kinoshita.
“Hindi pa ako lumalaban sa ganung kalaki na crowd sir,” Ancajas related to SPIN.ph on Tuesday. “Siguro mag-adjust na lang ako sa laban.”
Outside of being overwhelmed by the multitude of fight fans expected to cheer on the 29-year-old Horn in his battle with Pacquiao, Ancajas also has to take care of the height and reach advantages Kinoshita, now based in Japan, are expected to bring to the ring.
Ancajas, who owns a 26-1-1 record with 17 KOs, hopes to counter the challenger’s edge with his speed and superior skills.
“Dadaanin na lang natin sa bilis, kasi mas malaki at mas mahaba siya,” said the champion, who’s being handled and trained by Joven Jimenez.
Kinoshita is rated No. 3 by the IBF and carries a record of 25-1-1 (8 KOs).
This will be Ancajas’ second defense of the title he won by outpointing McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico. He retained his crown last January with a technical decision (seventh round) over Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in Macao.
He is fighting out of the Manny Pacquiao (MP) Promotions.