July 11, 2024

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Jerwin Ancajas eyes another world title in fight against Japanese Takuma Inoue

3 min read
CLASH OF TITANS. Defending champion Japanese Takuma Inoue, left, and Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines make the weight as they are set to fight against each other for the World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight crown. TAKUMA INOUE PHOTO

The stage was is for a clash of titans as Jerwin Ancajas prepared to step into the ring to vie for another world crown. 

The air is charged with anticipation at the Kokugigan Arena on Saturday night, February 24, as Ancajas aimed to seize Takuma Inoue’s World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight crown.

Despite his seasoned experience and formidable power, Ancajas was cast as the underdog against the younger Inoue, a name synonymous with pound-for-pound greatness, given his elder brother Naoya Inoue’s top ranking.

The oddsmakers tilted the scales, putting Ancajas at +225, while Inoue stood as the favorite at -275. It was a bout where odds and expectations converged, painting a narrative that fueled Ancajas’ determination to defy the predictions.

“I want to bring home the crown. I want to be world champion again,” declared Ancajas, a former six-year reigning champion in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight division, outgrowing it with aspirations of conquering a new weight class.

Both fighters hit the scales at 117.75 pounds during the official weigh-in at the Tokyo Dome Hotel. 

Ancajas stripped bare to make the weight. With intentions to enter the ring at least 135 pounds, he carried the hopes of a nation, yearning for its first world boxing champion of the year.

Ancajas, with a record of 34 wins, three losses, two draws, and 23 knockouts, stood ready to stake it all against Inoue. While he refrained from promising a knockout, the Filipino pugilist vowed to unleash everything if the opportunity presented itself. The 12-round bout, originally scheduled for November 15, had been delayed due to Inoue’s fractured rib suffered during training.

Adding fuel to Ancajas’ fire was the imminent expansion of his family, with his wife Ruth expecting their fifth child. The desire to provide for his growing family and etch his name in Philippine boxing history served as additional motivation.

Joven Jimenez, Ancajas’ seasoned trainer and manager, attested to the rigorous preparation endured at their Survival Camp in Magallanes over the past two months. 

While Ancajas and Jimenez harbored cautious optimism, the president of MP Promotions, Sean Gibbons, radiated confidence in the Filipino southpaw. 

Gibbons believed Ancajas would emerge victorious, scripting a triumphant chapter in his storied career.

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