Ancajas back to work
LOS ANGELES – IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas said yesterday he plans to resume training tomorrow to stay in shape after a two-day layoff from finding out his eighth title defense against Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, scheduled at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City this morning (Manila time), was cancelled.
The fight has been reset to Dec. 7 in Puebla, Mexico, a 3 1/2 hour flight from here. Ancajas and trainer/manager Joven Jimenez will motor to Las Vegas on Tuesday. They will stay in MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons’ home and train with Filipino boxers Johnriel Casimero, Marlon Tapales and Jhack Tepora who are based in the Nevada city. Jimenez’ assistant Fernando Parcon will join the team two weeks before the fight.
No opponent has been named for Ancajas. Rodriguez is a candidate but has reportedly certain issues to resolve. Gibbons is now in talks with Top Rank matchmaker Brad Goodman to finalize Ancajas’ next challenger.
Ancajas said the cancellation took him by surprise. He learned about it from Gibbons who phoned to break the news at about 5 p.m. last Thursday. Ancajas had just wound up his afternoon sweat session and hit the 115-pound limit when the call came. That night, Ancajas had a hearty meal. His diet was carefully monitored over the last two months by nutritionist Jeaneth Aro to keep within the superflyweight limit.
“Tanggap ko naman ang desisyon ng Top Rank,” said Ancajas. “Mahirap kasi nakuha ko na ang timbang tapos cancelled yung laban. Alam ko may mga ibang boksingero na nagagalit kung cancelled ang laban nila. Wala tayong magagawa. Hindi natin kasalanan at hindi rin tayo magsisisi kanino man. ‘Yan ang boksing. Mayroon talagang nangyayaring ganito. Pasensya na lang. Nagpapasalamat pa rin ako sa Top Rank, MP Promotions at Sir Sean sa pagkakataon.”
Aro will return to Manila where she has commitments to work with several Filipino athletes, including weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, for the Southeast Asian Games. She won’t be back to join Ancajas in Mexico. But Ancajas said Aro will continue to monitor his diet and weight by long distance. “Hindi pwede ma-frustrate kasi dapat focused pa rin sa training,” said Ancajas. “Five weeks bago matuloy ang laban. Kailangan maintain ang conditioning.”
Gibbons arranged for Ancajas and his traveling party to stay in a rented three-storey, three bedroom home with a loft to accommodate more bedspace in the corner of Harkness and Spreckels at Redondo Beach for three weeks. Ancajas will vacate the home when he is brought to Las Vegas with Jimenez by Gibbons’ son Brendan.