Jerwin Ancajas is excited about his U.S. debut

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

 

 

The man many feel has the potential to be the next big star to emerge from the Philippines, Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas, will make his United States debut on Saturday, February 3, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

 

Ancajas, 28-1-1 (19), of Cavite City, Cavite, Philippines, will battle contender Israel Gonzalez, 21-1 (8), of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Ancajas will attempt to make the fourth defense of the IBF junior bantamweight title he captured, when he upset undefeated McJoe Arroyo back in September of 2016.

 

The Ancajas-Gonzalez world championship fight will be the co-main event to the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed WBO super middleweight world title fight. Ramirez will make the third defense of the title he won in April of 2016.

 

Gonzalez is a very good boxer but isn’t considered a huge puncher, with only eight of his fights ending inside the distance. On the other hand, Ancajas is known as a fighter who packs power in both hands. He comes into the bout on a three-fight KO streak and has stopped 14 of his last 15 opponents.

 

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum, of Top Rank, likes what he sees in Ancajas and feels he can become a star. His Las Vegas-based promotional firm has signed Ancajas to a three-fight deal for the coming year and, if he keeps winning, will be signed on for another three fights in 2019.

 

In a recent chat, Joven Jimenez, president of Joven Sports, and Ancajas’ co-promoter and trainer, made it clear that, when they looked to make their U.S. break, they only had one promoter in mind.

 

“There was only one choice when we decided to go with a promoter in the United States,” he said. “Mr. Arum has done so much for Filipino boxing over the years. We are honored to be promoted by him.”

 

While it may be hard to ever match the global success of future Hall-of-Famer and eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao, they certainly have the backing of their countryman.

 

Pacquiao certainly knows a little about breaking stateside, after starting his career in the Philippines. He backed up Jimenez’s statements in a recent interview expressing support for Ancajas.

 

“Jerwin Ancajas, the IBF junior bantamweight world champion and MP Promotions’ first world titleholder, is an exciting fighter who has not reached his full potential,” said Pacquiao. “I am pleased to announce that we will have the opportunity to get worldwide exposure through his upcoming fights being televised on ESPN, with the help of the legendary Bob Arum and Top Rank. We at MP Promotions feel that this opportunity will open the floodgates for Jerwin to reach his full potential and continue to bring great honor to the Philippines.”

 

Added Ancajas adviser and MP Promotions matchmaker Sean Gibbons, “It is great to be working with this young man. He is a dedicated fighter. He wants to work so hard to keep winning for his countrymen and make the Philippines proud,” he said. “Joven is a great person with a great team around him. This guy has the potential to be a huge star, when he gets seen by the larger market. He can box; he is fast and he is exciting. He can really punch. I think the U.S. fan base are really going to embrace this guy. He is all action.”

 

Ancajas himself seems thrilled with the team around him and is clearly poised to make his mark in the United States.

 

“As a Filipino boxer, there is no higher honor than to have Mr. Arum and Top Rank Boxing promoting you,” said Ancajas. “I also want to thank MP Promotions and Joven Sports for helping get me to this point in my career and I look forward to following in the footsteps of my Idol and promoter Manny Pacquiao. I want to be a champion for a long time.”

 

 

 

Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca and you can follow him at twitter.com/tibbs_bill.

 

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