JERWIN Ancajas marks his ring comeback Sunday (Manila time) as he put his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight crown on the line against Ryuichi Funai of Japan in Stockton,California.
The 12-round bout at the Stockton Arena will be the first fight of the 27-year-old Filipino since a split decision draw against Alejandro Santiago Barrios last September in Oakland, California.
Ancajas admitted the outcome left a lot to be desired despite him retaining his 115-lbs title belt.
The champion said the encounter with Funai is definitely a make or break for him.
“This is a must-win fight for Jerwin,” said trainer Joven Jimenez.
Ancajas (has been less impressive in his last two outings, including his title bout against compatriot Jonas Sultan in the first world title fight between two Filipinos in the last 93 years.
The meeting with Sultan was followed by the fight against Barrios.
Although Funai’s record is somewhat tricky, the Japanese challenger has been on a roll, winning six of his last seven fights via KOs including against Filipino Warlito Parenas in Tokyo, Japan June of last year.
As per the advice of Parenas, Funai’s right hand is his lethal weapon, according to Jimnez, although the challenger has yet to face an opponent as quick and as skilled as Ancajas (30-1-2 with 20 KOs).
Both fighters made weight during the official weigh-in Saturday (Manila time). The champion came in at 114.4 lbs. and the challenger tipped the scale at 114.2 lbs.
Edward Collantes will be the third man in the ring, while the three judges in-charge of the fight are Daniel Sandoval, Jonathan Davis, and Kermit Bayless.