Jerwin Ancajas on big stage in Pacquiao-Horn support bout

From left to right: Matchmaker Sean Gibbons, IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas and Manny Pacquiao. Photo courtesy of Bill Tibbs on Twitter.


Eight-division world champion and Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will make his Australian debut in his next world title defense on ESPN.


Pacquiao’s long time promoter Top Rank has reportedly hammered out a new deal with the cable network to be one of the platforms for its fighters. And what a better way to kick off their new partnership than with Manny Pacquiao in a stadium full of 50,000-plus Australian boxing fans.


Pacquiao, a global superstar in the twilight of his legendary career, will make his WBO world welterweight title defense this Saturday from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.


Calling the fights from ringside, along with ESPN mainstays Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas, will be former two-division titleholder Timothy Bradley Jr., who should know a thing or two about Pacquiao, having faced him in the ring on three different occasions.


Another Filipino fighter who will look to make a splash on that night is 25-year-old IBF junior bantamweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas, 26-1-1 (17).


Ancajas, an exciting banger from Panabo City, Philippines, is excited to be showcasing his talents in his second title defense in front of a huge, live TV audience but he may also be feeling a bit of pressure. While the southpaw is plying his trade in a title defense against Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita, 25-1-1 (8), his boss Manny Pacquiao will be warming up in the dressing room. (Ancajas is the first world champion client signed to “Pac-Man’s” MP Promotions.)


While Ancajas will be looking to shine on fight night, he doesn’t have an easy out in Kinoshita, a former world junior bantamweight title challenger. Osaka native Kinoshita went the full 12 rounds back in July of 2014, when he battled current WBO world bantamweight champion Zolani Tete for the vacant IBF 115-pound championship, losing via unanimous decision. Since that decision loss, he has racked up six straight wins, five of them coming via stoppage.


Ancajas is red-hot right now, as he rides a 13-fight winning streak, having not lost since dropping a majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo, over five years ago.


The junior bantamweight division boats fellow champions like WBO boss Naoya Inoue, WBC champion Wisaksil Wangek, WBA beltholder Khalid Yafai and WBC No. 1 contender and pound-for-pounder Roman Gonzalez. So it is going to take strong performances on the big stage to lead to the lucrative unification bouts every champion craves and deserves.


In recent interviews, Ancajas stated that he is excited to be showcasing his talents on such a high-profile show and is excited about working the same gig as Pacquiao. He also knows that, despite notching nine stoppages in his last 10 contests, patience is the key in this fight.


“It’s a fun thing. It’s a huge thing to be on the undercard of Sir Manny. It’s just exciting to have the chance”, he said. “Every fight, I do not really think of the knockout. I just think how to win the fight because the knockout is just going to come. I’m really happy to defend my crown.”


While Ancajas will stay focused on his pre-fight strategy, he also knows what fans like to see and he hopes to turn a few heads in the audience with a memorable performance.


“We’ve really prepared hard for this fight and you can expect that we’re going to give a great performance”, he said. “The knockout will come. We’re just thinking about the kind of strategy we’re going to use in the fight but if there’s an opportunity to go for the knockout, we’re going to go for it.”



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