Little by little, Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18KO) is beginning to achieve his dreams, both in and out of the ring
As he gears up for his third title defense in Belfast, Ireland, IBF World Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is training away from the public eye. Two hours away from the heart of Manila in Magallanes, Cavite lies “The Survival Camp”, Team Ancajas’ new home and the fruit of their labor.
The name speaks for itself. They have come from doing almost everything to make ends meet, to fighting in high profile cards. Along the way, they’ve taught boxing classes, slept in makeshift rings, and relied on whatever’s given to them in order to keep their dream alive. Not only is the Survival Camp the fruit of all the hardships they’ve gone through, but also a reminder of who they are.
“Gusto kasi namin unang-una, simple lang,” Jimenez shared with Tiebreaker Times about putting up the camp far away from the city. “Para maging reminder ito na hindi sila maging mayabang.
“Kung si Jerwin nga ay champion na, dito pa rin siya nakatira, tanggap niya tong ganitong situwasyon namin.”
It may not be your ordinary gym, but according to them, it completely suits their needs.
A boxing ring is right behind Ancajas’ house, which enables them to train whenever they want. They also plan to put up quarters for visiting boxers who plan to train with them in the future.
What Ancajas loves about his new home is the tranquility. Being far away from the city, he gets to focus on the things that matters most to him: family and boxing.
“Masaya ako kasi walang distraction dito. Kumbaga amin yung gym, kahit anong oras puwede kaming mag ensayo,” the 25-year-old explains. “Parang free kami sir di kagaya nung nakaraan, parang nahihiya kami kasi nakikisabay lang kami sa ibang gym hindi kagaya dito. Masaya kami kasi sa amin naman kasi yung lugar.
“Dito tahimik, maganda yung hangin, di tulad sa Manila, mausok na. Dito mababait din yung mga tao, tinutulungan kami kung ano ang mga kailangan namin, nandyan sila. Tapos peaceful, nakakapahinga ka ng maayos at maaga. Alas-otso palang, tulog na,” he added.
“Ganito yung gusto namin, yung tahimik. Simple lang.”
Like the Survival Camp, Ancajas has yet to receive much fanfare, unlike his fellow Pinoy champions. Having defended his belt twice already since defeating McJoe Arroyo for the belt last September of 2016, he remains under the radar of most Filiino fight fans.
The good thing is that he doesn’t mind. Rather, he prefers letting his fists do the talking, as he heads to enemy territory in Belfast, Ireland against the undefeated Jamie Conlan.
Fighting on foreign soil is no longer new to “Pretty Boy”, but facing Conlan along with the thousands of Irishmen behind him will definitely put the odds against his favor.
Instead of putting seeing it as a disadvantage, Ancajas sees it as another opportunity to showcase his God-given talent inside the ring.
“Tulad naman ng dati lumaban ako sa China kalaban Chinese, parang ganun lang yung sistema para sa akin. Focus lang ako sa laban. Yung fans naman ni Conlan, para sakin, e-enjoyin ko lang itong laban,” Ancajas shared.
“Kelangan namin maging agresibo pa sa laban, pakita yung galing namin. Yung mga plano kung pano namin talunin si Conlan, magfofocus lang po kami dun. Ang gusto namin, mas maipakita namin kung ano ang napakita namin sa Brisbane. Gusto namin higitan pa yun,” the seventh-ranked super flyweight in the world said.
“Kelangan impressive na panalo.”
Jimenez trusts his prized fighter, confident that he can overcome the Irish challenge after all that they’ve been through.
“Sa akin naman, basta ang boksingero ay matapang, walang problema yun, kahit na sa kanila ang judge, referee, crowd,” the mentor said. “Si Jerwin matapang, hindi siya nagpapasindak. Kasi yung mga ganyan na sa sigaw, sisindakin ka. Katulad ng mga sinasabi ni Conlan na malaki siya, European-style siya, naninindak lang po yun.
“Kung ang boxer ay takot, masisindak talaga pero kung ang boxer ay matapang, determinado, at nageensayo ng husto, wala kang dapat ikasindak,” Jimenez added.
“Hindi kami matatakot dahil kahit saan man ang laban, hindi ito makaka-apekto sa aming performance.”