REIGNING International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas admitted feeling a bit pressured over the 'next Manny Pacquiao' label.
While he's proud of the comparison with the greatest Filipino boxer ever, the 25-year-old soft-spoken native of Panabo, Davao del Norte said there’s also an obvious downside to it.
“Na-pressure din ako siyempre para ikumpara sa galing ni Senator Manny (Pacquiao),” said Ancajas. “May pressure na kailangan galingan ko pa para kahit kaunti mapantayan ko yung galing niya.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum was the first to hail Ancajas as the one likely to follow in the footsteps of the 39-year-old boxing great, who he has been promoting since 2005.
“We call him ‘the next Manny Pacquiao,’” said Arum, who’s currently negotiating to sign Ancajas to be part of Top Rank next year.
Ironically, Ancajas is currently being promoted by Pacquiao’s MP Promotions.
“Para mapansin ka ni Bob Arum, siyempre sobrang tuwa ko po talaga,” said the Filipino world champion. “Pero dun ako na-pressure. Kaya laging pinaghuhusayan ko sa training para mabigyan lagi ng magandang laban ang mga fans.”
Ancajas (28-1, 19 KOs) is set for his US debut in February against Israel Gonzales of Mexico at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
He hasn’t seen Gonzales fight in person, but has managed to watch some of his fights on tapes.
“Magaling yung Gonzales, may porma yung dating ng suntok niya,” he noted. “Tsaka alam naman natin yung mga Mexican lumalaban talaga.”
Ancajas is coming off a sixth-round stoppage of Irishman Jamie Conlan last November 18 in Belfast, Ireland.