Jerwin Ancajas sees ESPN fight as his big break in bid to crack rich US market
Jerwin Ancajas defends his IBF super-flyweight title against Teiru Kinoshita in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia. Jaime Campos

THIS could be the break Jerwin Ancajas has been waiting for.

The 25-year-old Filipino stakes his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight title against Teiru Kinoshita in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight championship match on July 2 in Brisbane, Australia.

As one of the main undercards, the 12-round match will be shown live on ESPN, which for Ancajas a chance to introduce himself to the rich American boxing market.

“Kasama kami sa ipapalabas na live ng ESPN. Gusto raw siyang tingnan (ng mga Amerikano) kung ano ang meron siya,” said Joven Jimenez, trainer and manager of the 25-year-old pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte.

“Kung maganda ang ipakita niya, baka may chance na makalaban na sa U.S.”

Ancajas refused to make a prediction for the match against his 31-year-old challenger before an expected record crowd of 50,000 at the Suncorp Stadium, although he vowed to give boxing fans a good fight during the weekly Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Golden Phoenix Hotel on Tuesday.

“Para sa akin yung knockout darating na lang yun. Focus lang namin paano makadiskarte sa laban,” he said.

“Handing-handa kami kasi minsan lang dumating sa buhay namin ito,” said Jimenez during the same session presented by San Miguel Corp., Golden Phoenix Hotel, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Jimenez said they had seen numerous bouts of the 31-year-old challenger, who was born in Korea but was raised and is now based in Japan.

“Southpaw siya, typical na Koreano na matibay,” he said. “Abang lang ng abang iyan, although skills-wise, mas lamang si Jerwin.”

Ancajas successfully retained his IBF crown last January with a seventh-round stoppage of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez at the Cotai Arena in Macau, raising his record to 26-1-1 with 17 KOs.

This will be the second time the rising Filipino boxer is featured as undercard in a Pacquiao fight. He first fought in the Pacquiao-Chris Algerie title bout in 2013 in Macau.

Kinoshita meanwhile, has a record of 25-1-1, including eight KOs.

At the moment, Ancajas is stll six pounds over the 115-lbs limit., but he doesn’t see any problem making the weight.

“Kaya naman ang timbang. Mababa na nga yung over ko compared sa mga previous fights ko,” he stressed in the same session presented by San Miguel Corp., Golden Phoenix Hotel, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Ancajas and Jimenez will be leaving for Australia on Saturday as part of Pacquiao’s delegation, which will leave GenSan on a chartered Air Asia flight to Brisbane.

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