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Brendan expects best Ancajas ever

By Joaquin Henson
Thu, 07 Nov 2019

Brendan Gibbons with International Boxing Hall of Famer Lee Samuels.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons’ son Brendan said the other day the postponement of IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas’ eighth title defense from last Saturday night to Dec. 7 may be a blessing in disguise.

Brendan, who is managing Ancajas’ affairs in Los Angeles while his father is busy laying out plans with super WBA welterweight champion Sen. Manny Pacquiao for MP Promotions in Manila, said moving the fight site from the Dignity Health Sports Park in nearby Carson to Puebla, Mexico, could only expand the Filipino’s burgeoning fan base.

“It will be Jerwin’s first fight in Mexico and a great opportunity to showcase his skills before Mexican fans,” said Brendan, now earning a reputation as a hard-working and reliable back-up to his father. “We expect to bring Jerwin one or two weeks before the fight in Puebla to acclimatize to the high altitude. Nobody wanted the fight to be postponed but things like that happen in boxing. We’re moving forward and fighting in Mexico will be exciting.”

Top Rank Promotions media relations director Evan Korn said a Mexico engagement shouldn’t be a concern for Ancajas. “Jerwin has fought in Ireland and other countries so I don’t think it’s a problem for him to fight in Mexico or anywhere,” said Korn. “Besides, Top Rank will bring in only neutral judges. We’re still finalizing the Dec. 7 card but for sure, we won’t be able to squeeze in Jerwin’s fight in the undercard of the (Terence) Crawford main event at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 14. The Crawford card is full. Dec. 7 is only five weeks away. Maybe, Jerwin should take a couple of days off before going back to the gym to stay in shape.”

Since learning his fight last Saturday was postponed, Ancajas took the weekend off. Last Sunday, Ancajas watched his first NBA game live at the Staples Center where the L. A. Clippers beat Utah, 105-94 behind Kawhi Leonard’s 30 points. The next day, Ancajas was back in the gym to prepare for his Dec. 7 appointment in Puebla.

Brendan said whomever Ancajas fights on Dec. 7 will be in for a beating. “I think we’ll see the best Ancajas ever,” he said. “He would’ve been in peak condition last Saturday night. Can you imagine how much fitter he’ll be with five more weeks of training? We’ll be careful he doesn’t over-train or burn out. Jerwin will be so excited to fight on Dec. 7 that I expect an awesome performance.”

Mexican fans will finally get a close look at Ancajas who has so far turned back three Mexican challengers Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Israel Gonzalez and Alejandro Santiago. The scuttlebutt is Ancajas won’t be fighting a Mexican. Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, whom Ancajas was supposed to face last Saturday, may not be an option because of certain unresolved issues. Rodriguez missed an appointment at the US Embassy in Mexico City over two weeks ago and it could’ve caused the delay in the issuance of his visa. When the visa was released last Thursday, it was too late for Rodriguez to complete the medical requirements of the California State Athletic Commission, prompting Top Rank to cancel the fight.

A leading candidate for Ancajas’ next opponent is WBA Fedelatin superflyweight titleholder and WBA No. 10 contender Miguel Gonzalez of Chile. Gonzalez, 30, has a 31-2 record, with 8 KOs compared to Ancajas’ card of 31-1-2, with 21 KOs. Gonzalez is 5-3 1/2 with a 64 1/2 inch wingspan while Ancajas is 5-6 with a 66 1/2 inch reach. Gonzalez’ only losses were to Australian Andrew Moloney by a stoppage last March and to Paul Butler on points in London in 2013. Since the defeat to Moloney, the Chilean has registered two straight wins by knockout.

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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