KUALA LUMPUR - Jerwin Ancajas brought boxing gears with him when he came over to watch the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse welterweight title fight.
Training camp, after all, has started for the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champ.
"Nagdala kami ng gamit kasi mag-eensayo kami ni Mark," said Ancajas, referring to stablemate and Olympian Mark Barriga.
Ancajas is set to return to action on September 14 against either Mexican Alejandro Santiago or a Chilean opponent as a co-feature event of the Jose Ramirez-Antonio Orozco light-welterweight title match in Fresno, California.
The announcement was made on Friday at the Le Meridien Hotel here during the presentation of the champion's ring to Ancajas by IBF president Daryl Peoples and IBF ratings chairman Anibal Miramontes.
International matchmaker Sean Gibbons said the final decision will be made next week pending a consultation with Top Rank Promotions.
Ancajas retained his IBF belt last May 26 with a unanimous decision win over compatriot Jonas Sultan also held in Fresno at the Save Mart Center. It was the first all-Filipino world title fight in the last 93 years.
The unbeaten, 26-year-old champion said he has started light training two weeks ago.
"Dalawang linggo na kaming nagte-training," said Ancajas, who came over with trainer-manager Joven Jimenez and Barriga to watch and support Pacquiao's quest for the World Boxing Association (WBA) welterweight crown.
"Lagi naman kaming nakahanda sa conditioning," Ancajas said. "Pagbalik after ng Sultan fight, saglit lang kami nagpahinga ni coach Joven tapos pakundisyon na ulit."
Gibbons said he's leaning more toward Ancajas facing Santiago, a tough, 22-year-old native of Tijuana, Mexico, who is coming off a controversial draw against Jose Martinez of Puerto Rico last March.
"We haven't selected the opponent, but we want someone who fights very aggressively with his fists, not his head," said Gibbons. "Someone who wants to rumble, Mexican-style."
Santiago carries a record of 16-3-3 with 7 KOs.
Ancajas meanwhile, is 30-1-1, with 20 KOs, and is defending his title for the sixth time.