THERE’S no rest for the weary especially if it happens to be International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Shortly upon arriving in the U.S., Ancajas immediately buckled down to work by doing a light workout with trainer Joven Jimenez, unmindful of the 13-hour flight he and his entourage went through from Manila to Los Angeles.
Ancajas worked the mitts with Jimenez and later, did some shadow boxing wearing a black thermal suit as he tried to shed off the remaining unwanted pounds 12 days before his May 26 title duel with compatriot Jonas Sultan in Fresno, California.
The 26-year-old champion disclosed he still weighs 122 pounds, about seven pounds over the weight limit. But it’s something that’s not a major concern.
“OK naman ang kundisyon nagbabawas na lang ng timbang. Tamang-tama lang po para sa fight,” he said before leaving the country on Tuesday.
Ancajas will rest for a while and then resume the remaining days of his training camp also doing light workouts. Sparring is already through prior to his U.S departure.
This marks Ancajas' second U.S. fight this year after successfully retaining his title last January with a 10th-round stoppage of Israel Gonzales in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Helping Ancajas get into top form is Olympian Mark Barriga, who also belongs to the same Survival Camp boxing stable under Jimenez. The 24-year-old Barriga is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision over Gabriel Mendoza of Colombia last Sunday to become the mandatory challenger for the IBF minimumweight title currently held by Hiroto Kyoguchi of Japan.
The champion’s camp is expected to stay in L.A. until Sunday before travelling three hours by land to Fresno the following day for the fight against Sultan.
The native of Panabo, Davao del Sur is making the fifth defense of the title he won over McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico in Sept. of 2016 in Manila. Ancajas holds a 29-1-1 record with 20 KOs.
Sultan, trainer Edito ‘Ala’ Villamor, three-time world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes, and the rest of the ALA boxing stable had already been in the U.S. for three weeks now and are currently training at the famed Wildcard gym in Hollywood.
Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) is fighting for his first ever shot at a world title.