Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2, 22KOs) doesn’t think that there’s ring rust on his part as he sets foot in the squared circle after over a year to defend his IBF World Super Flyweight title opposite Jonathan Rodriguez (22-1, 16KOs) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.
The 29-year-old southpaw last fought in December of 2019 when he scored a sixth-round TKO victory over Miguel Gonzalez, but shared that he has been working non-stop to stay ready whenever he gets to fight once more.
Now he finally plunges back into action, as his match versus the Mexican fighter finally pushes through following a couple of delays.
They were supposed to slug it out back in November of 2019 but Rodriguez ran into visa issues. The bout was then rescheduled in April of last year, but that didn’t happen as well no thanks to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Para sa akin, ‘yung kalawang hindi naman talaga kalawang kasi since nag-lockdown, since nung hinawakan ko ‘tong title, never na talaga kami nag-stop sa training,” Ancajas told Power and Play.
“Dun pa kami galing sa camp kay sir Gilbert Cruz doon sa Dipolog, hanggang pagpunta sa Maynila nung lockdown, tuloy-tuloy yung training namin. Kasi alam namin na andyan yung laban namin, darating at darating din ‘yan,” he continued.
“Habang hawak ko ‘tong title, gusto ko tuloy-tuloy ‘yung training kasi alam ko na ang daming gustong kumuha nito. Kaya itong darating na laban, masasabi kong hindi ako kinalawang. At gusto kong magbigay ng magandang laban.”
And if it’s any good indication, Ancajas weighed in at 114.8 lbs. in the official weigh-in of the bout that will serve as the opener of a tripleheader bannered by the welterweight tiff between Jaron Ennis and Sergey Lipinets.
“Masaya po kasi unang-una, nakuha ko yung timbang ko. ‘Yan ‘yung pinaka-una kong kalaban eh, ‘yung timbang. Kailangan natin makuha yung timbang, at masaya kami na nagawa namin yung dapat namin gawin,” he said.
But as excited as he is for Sunday’s (Manila time) match, the Davao del Sur native remains wary of his opponent, who’s coming in with six straight wins, including a knockout victory over Julian Yedras last December.
Ancajas is also aware of how confident Rodriguez is. In an interview with BoxingScene.com, the 25-year-old said that he can knock the Filipino out, and certain that the fight won’t be decided by the judges.
“Hindi biro ‘tong kalaban na ‘to.
“Sa mga interview nga niya, talagang pe-pressurin niya raw kami, at sabi niya pa nga wala pa raw akong nakalaban na kagaya niya mam-pressure,” said Ancajas.
Still, Ancajas remains unfazed by all that talk, sure that he and his camp are heading into the anticipated duel very much prepared.
“Sinabi niya pa nga sa isang halos dalawa o isang taon din niya kami pinag-aralan kasi matagal na tong laban na ‘to … Pero kami naman ni coach, kahit anong dalhin nila sa ring, handang-handa kami.”