Jerwin Ancajas feels that he has yet to earn the respect of some of the super flyweight division’s biggest names, so he used his IBF title defense versus Jonathan Rodriguez Sunday (Manila time) to re-introduce himself.
And the 29-year-old southpaw hopes to have accomplished that target, as he won unanimously against his Mexican counterpart to keep the strap and mark a successful return to the squared circle after 16 months of waiting.
“Gusto ko iparating na handang-handa ako para sa kanila,” he said in a Zoom call hours after his match held at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut, USA.
“Dati pa naman po, lagi ako nagbabanggit sa mga pangalan nila, ‘di pala ako kilala nila,” added the humble fighter with a chuckle.
“Kaya sa’kin, gusto kong makilala nila na bilang champion din na nandito rin ako.”
Trainer Joven Jimenez, however, begs to differ. One of the division’s top dogs actually knows his pupil, saying matter-of-factly that Juan Francisco Estrada even called Ancajas prior to his match versus Ryuichi Funai in 2019.
Estrada holds both the WBC and WBA super flyweight titles. He took the WBA belt away from Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez just last March.
“Kilala naman si Jerwin ng mga champion. Si Estrada pa nga tumawag sa kanya nung laban niya kay Funai. Nag-usap sila, na gusto ni Estrada makalaban si Jerwin,” said Jimenez, also Ancajas’ manager.
“Kilala naman siya, parang ‘yung promoter nila ayaw din siguro makalaban si Jerwin kasi nakikita nila malaki si Jerwin dun sa mga champion na yun. Mas matangkad siya, malaki ‘yung kaha niya. ‘Yun ang nakikita ko, umiilag sila.”
Estrada was one of the names mentioned by Ancajas in the post-match interview on whom he hopes to fight next, the other being Gonzalez.
Aside from those two, there’s also the possibility of facing Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Ancajas met the Thai star in a ONE event back in 2018 after the latter defended his own world title opposite Mexico’s Iran Diaz.
The pride of Panabo City is eyed to fight again this September, and Jimenez hopes that it would finally be a unification bout they’ve been hoping.
“Depende po sa negotiations ni Sir Sean (Gibbons, MP Promotions president). Kasi talagang si Sir Sean pinangako niya sa’min na kung manalo, unification talaga ang gusto niya mangyari,” he said.
“Kami naman tuwang-tuwa, kasi pangarap namin ‘yun.”