Jerwin Ancajas will make U.S. debut in February 2018, says Sean Gibbons
After three successful title defenses abroad, Jerwin Ancajas is heading stateside.
The 25-year-old junior bantamweight standout will make his United States debut in February following a dominant outing in his most recent fight, a sixth-round technical knockout of Jamie Conlan in Belfast, Northern Ireland earlier this month to retain his IBF 115-pound title. The Filipino southpaw scored three official knockdowns before the fight was stopped, underscoring his readiness for bigger assignments in the stacked 115-pound division.
An opponent or fight card has yet to be settled on, though MP Promotions’ matchmaker cautions that it may not necessarily be on the anticipated “Superfly 2” card which has yet to be formally announced.
“No card set just coming to America. Viva Eddie Murphy!,” said Gibbons in a private message.
“Like Jerwin’s promoter did before him he conquered the U.S. market and then went global, we plan to follow in those footsteps. So look for in February 2018 for Jerwin to take his first fight in the U.S. and from there we just take it one fight at a time and look for big things to come.”
Joven Jimenez, Ancajas’ manager and trainer, also isn’t sure who will be standing opposite of Ancajas when he next steps in the ring.
“We will fight anybody, Jerwin is ready for that,” said Jimenez, who adds that he believes Ancajas will be a splash in the U.S., just as his promoter was when he came over 16 years ago.
“He brings a different style and game plan in every fight, and I think he is close to be like complete fighter,” said Jimenez.
A report in Tempo quotes Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum saying he wants Ancajas to headline a show on ESPN, while promoter Tom Loeffler, who staged the original SuperFly card on HBO, tells ESPN Deportes that Ancajas’ people, along with WBO and WBA titleholders Naoya Inoue and Khalid Yafai, plus ex-champ Carlos Cuadras, had expressed interest in appearing on the card.
Ancajas, rated No. 6 by THE RING at 115 pounds, won the title a year ago in the Philippines, dropping McJoe Arroyo once before coming out on top by unanimous decision. He has defended his title in Macau, Australia and Northern Ireland, stopping all three opponents. Gibbons says it was his first time working with Ancajas in 2014, matching him with Tanzania’s Fadhili Majiha on the Pacquiao-Chris Algieri card, that convinced Gibbons he had a serious talent on his hands.
“It was at this point I saw a fighter with real poise under pressure and he knocked out Majiha in three rounds. Then moving forward the X-factor moment for me was when Jerwin challenged McJoe Arroyo…and stepped up in a very difficult fight to take the belt from the undefeated champion Arroyo that Jerwin was the next great champion from the Philippines,” said Gibbons, who gave high praise to the “underrated” training job by Jimenez.
For now, Ancajas is focused on his current project: completing his “Survival Camp” gym, the complex in Cavite province which he trained at for the Conlan fight. The complex has one outdoor ring and a small one-room building where Ancajas stays with his family, but will be expanded to house more fighters so sparring partners and trainers won’t have to sleep in the ring, and so it can be a training destination for international fighters who want seclusion.