Thursday, March 23, 2023  |



Jerwin Ancajas to defend junior bantamweight title in Macau

Jerwin Ancajas (center, with the title belt) flanked by MP Promotions matchmaker Sean Gibbons (right).

MANILA, Philippines – IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas will make his first title defense on Jan. 29 in Macau against an opponent to be named, says Ancajas’ trainer/manager Joven Jimenez.

Ancajas (25-1-1, 16 knockouts), of Panabo City, Philippines, won the title in September, outboxing Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo to a unanimous decision victory. Ancajas had previously fought in Macau in 2014, knocking out Tanzanian Fadhili Majiha in three rounds and has already been in training, sparring four-and-six rounds at a time.

The show will be promoted by Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions, which handles Ancajas, and Top Rank, says Jimenez. A venue has also yet to be revealed.

Jimenez says Ancajas, 24, has scarcely been out of the gym since winning the title, in part because he has yet to make serious money after pocketing just $3,750, or 15% of the minimum purse bid of $25,000 he was entitled to as the mandatory challenger against Arroyo in his title-winning fight in the Philippines.

Ancajas was given a bonus of 500,000 pesos (approximately $10,022 USD) from his promoter Manny Pacquiao after the win, which he used to buy land and a home for his father in Panabo City.

For now, Ancajas still lives and trains in Imus, Cavite, Philippines in a rented house with three other pro boxers – Drian Francisco, Joepher Montano and Daniel Lim – with his own room for his partner and their two children.

“[MP Promotions matchmaker] Sean Gibbons and Michael Koncz promised us that Jerwin will get a good purse for this Macau fight,” said Jimenez, who added that Francisco (28-4-1, 22 KOs) will also be on the card in a 10-round fight.

Ancajas hopes to earn enough money from this fight to buy his own home, and to convince his mother to move from General Santos City and stay with him.

When asked if his fighter would fancy a unification fight with WBC titleholder and reigning pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez, Jimenez said he liked the matchup.

“I think Jerwin can fight him, he’s big for 115. Jerwin is versatile, he can go inside and he can box. He can throw any kind of punches,” said Jimenez.

Ancajas is currently THE RING’s No. 9-rated junior bantamweight.

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @RyanSongalia.