Ancajas all set for title defense

THE long-delayed fight between Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas and Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez is expected to bring fireworks come fight night on April 10, 2021 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA.

Jerwin Ancajas (right) and Teiru Kinoshita of Japan exchange blows during their IBF world junior bantamweight title fight in Brisbane, Australia. AFP FILE PHOTO

After a year of postponement caused by the Covid-19 scare, Ancajas gets to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight strap against the No. 3 rated Rodriguez in a classic Filipino-Mexican clash.

“Jerwin’s fight is going to be explosive. When a Mexican fights against a Filipino, they take it up to another level,” said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons in a virtual presser straight from Los Angeles, California.

Ancajas, who holds a 32-1 win-loss record with 22 KOs, was supposed to fight Rodriguez in April last year if not for Covid-19 that put the sporting world in a standstill for a while.

The 29-year-old said he patiently waited for this fight and will definitely go all out on his ninth title defense.

“I stayed focused and right now I’m 90 to 95 percent ready for this fight,” said the pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte in Tagalog.

Gibbons sees his ward winning in the later rounds.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, to never look past anybody. But I believe Jerwin’s skills will fit the bill. Rodriguez is a tough guy but at the end of the day Jerwin is a champ for over five years. I see him [Ancajas] winning later, possibly later in the fight, he’ll just break him [Rodriguez] down as he does to most of his opponents. He’s just like a surgeon, he slowly breaks them down,” said Gibbons.

The 25-year-old Rodriguez, a native of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, has won his last 16 fights. He holds a record of 22-1 with 16 knockouts.

Meanwhile, former Cebu-based Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14 KOs) will trade leather with Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6 KOs) in the undercard. This will be the second fight of Magsayo on American soil.

Magsayo is currently the No. 7 ranked featherweight in The Ring rankings. He’s rated No. 3 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 5 by the International Boxing Federation (IBF), No. 6 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and No. 9 by the World Boxing Association (WBA).

Magsayo said that he wants to give a good showing to get the desired world title fight.