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Ancajas confident about upcoming challenge to WBA bantamweight champ Inoue

Feb 21, 2024 8:45 am

  Ninth-ranked challenger Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines exuded confidence as he held a public workout at Tokyo’s Teiken Boxing Gym on Feb. 20 in preparation for his challenge to World Boxing Association bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue of Ohashi Boxing Gym for the latter’s title on Feb. 24 in Tokyo.

Ancajas hitting punching bag amid watchful eyes of Inoue’s trainer Shingo Inoue

  The scheduled 12-rounder at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena will serve as the main event of ‘’Prime Video Presents Live Boxing 7, ‘’ in which two more world championship bouts and one bantamweight eight-rounder will also be held.

  The left-handed Ancajas, who was a former International Boxing Federation’s world super flyweight champion and successfully defended the title nine times until he was dethroned in October 2022, did light workout, including shadowboxing, mitt- and punching-bag hitting.

  Asked about the possible effect of the postponement of the fight from the originally scheduled last November due to Inoue’s rib injury, the 32-year-old Ancajas simply said, ‘’No problem.’’ He had trained himself in Las Vegas for a long time. Since returning to the Philippines early last December, Ancajas has had sparring sessions with top-notch boxers, including World Boxing Council’s second-ranked bantamweight Vincent Astrolabio, to prepare for the fight with Inoue.

Experienced Ancajas hitting punching ball

  ‘’I have always wanted to fight in Japan,’’ Ancajas said, although he came to Japan as a sparring partner of former WBC bantamweight champion Shinsuke Yamanaka, former three-division world champion Koki Kameda and his brother Daiki, a former two-division world champion, some 10 years ago.

  ‘’I have a lot of experience and adaptability. Most of all, I am hungry now,’’ Ancajas added.

  After watching his workout, Hideyuki Ohashi of the gym’s head said, ‘’I think he is the strongest opponent for Takuma in his career because he has rhythm in his punch and can snap the punch. Especially, he has a special aura. I think he is in the same league with Ricardo Lopez (of Mexico) and Roman Gonzales (of Nicaragua). If Takuma wins the fight, he will make progress greatly.’’

  Ancajas has a record of 34 wins, including 23 knockouts, against three losses and two draws. For his part, the 28-year-old Inoue, a younger brother of Naoya ‘’the Monster’’ Inoue, has an 18-1 win-loss tally with four KOs.

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