MAKING weight is the least of Jerwin Ancajas’ concern as the Filipino declared himself ready to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight crown against undefeated challenger Jamie Conlan on Sunday at the SSE Arena in Belfast, Ireland.
Trainer Joven Jimenez assured the champion will have no problem making the 115-lb. limit as Ancajas had everything taken cared of even before flying to the Northern Ireland capital.
“Wala na sir. Kuha na ang target na timbang,” Jimenez said in a message from Belfast on Friday.
The Filipino camp is hardly perturbed by the expected partisan crowd rooting for the 31-year-old Conlan, who is unbeaten in 19 fights and has 11 KOs but is fighting in his first-ever world title bout.
“Sanay na kami sir,” said Jimenez of the 25-year-old champion's defense of his IBF crown before a hostile crowd.
Ancajas, a southpaw from Panabo, Davao del Norte, made his first two successful title defense outside of the Philippines.
He beat Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico in a seventh-round technical decision last January at the Cotai Arena in Macau, and then scored a seventh-round TKO win over Teiru Kinoshita of Japan at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia in the main undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship six months later.
Ancajas’s current record stands at 27-1 with 18 KOs, his only loss coming at the hands of Mark Anthony Geraldo in a 10-round majority decision at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu Cebu in 2012.
The Ancajas-Conlan title match is also the main undercard of Carl Frampton’s comeback fight against Mexican Horacio Garcia.
Frampton is coming off a 12-round majority decision loss against Leo Sta. Cruz last January to yield his World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight title.