JERWIN Ancajas left for the US on Tuesday to take part in a historic fight expected to showcase Philippine boxing in the world stage.
As had been their practice, Ancajas and his team made the trip at least 10 days before he defends his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight crown against compatriot Jonas Sultan in Fresno, California.
The first all-Filipino world title bout in almost a century is set on May 26.
Sultan, of the famed ALA boxing stable of Cebu, is already in Los Angeles for more than a week now, a strategy that hardly concerned the champion.
“Nasanay na kasi kami dun sa 10 days na dating,” said Ancajas before his US departure.
“Nasubukan na namin iyun sa Ireland at tsaka sa Texas,” added the 26-year-old Panabo, Davao del Sur native, referring to his last two fights against Jamie Conlan and Israel Gonzalez, respectively.
The 12-round match will be the first pitting two Filipino fighters for a world championship since Pancho Villa scored a decision win over Clever Sencio at Wallace Field (now Luneta Park) on May 2,1925 for the world flyweight crown.
More than being part of history, Ancajas is excited to show that Filipino boxers are among the best in the world.
“Binigyan po tayo ng pagkakataon na maipakita yung ating kakayahan sa buong mundo dahil dalawang Filipino ang maglalaban para sa titulo,” said Ancajas. “This is history at habang buhay po kaming maiuugnay sa isa’t-isa.”
Ancajas did a light four-round sparring on Monday, his last for this training camp, and will only have light training as well once he arrives in the U.S.
The champion will be defending his IBF crown for the fifth time after a successful title defense last January - a 10th round stoppage of Gonzalez in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Ancajas sports a record of 29-1-1, with 20 KOs.