By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
For the past few days, there were reports that Jerwin Ancajas (32-1-2,22KO’s) was told to prepare for a February title defense. The name of the boxer who stood him up last November, Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1,15KO’s), was once again mentioned as his next challenger. The Mexican Rodriguez was reported to have visa issues thus couldn’t make the trip to California. Ancajas fought in Mexico on December 7 against Chilean challenger Miguel Gonzalez and won by sixth round TKO.
With a February 22 date being floated, the next obvious story was that Ancajas will be on the undercard of the mega-rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.
Ancajas’ trainer and manager Joven Jimenez told this writer in a short chat that they have received a message from Top Rank to get ready for a title defense. But the present plan is for an April defense for Ancajas. Jimenez also told this writer that they will be starting their training camp but they will be moving south of the Philippines to Dipolog City.
This would be a new training location for Ancajas. When he started his reign as IBF champion in 2016, his training ground, known as Survival Camp here in the Philippines, was based in Cavite. But they had to move to a Philippine Marine base last year to avoid all the distractions that came when Ancajas got more attention from the media and fans. The 28 year old southpaw is a reservist in the Philippine Navy and was promoted last year to reserve senior chief petty officer.
Ancajas had made eight successful defenses of his title. He does have a looming date against Israel Gonzalez of Mexico, who beat Japanese Sho Ishida by split decision in a fight held in Osaka last December 28. This gave Gonzalez the IBF mandatory challenger status in the 115 lb division. Two years ago, Gonzalez (25-3,11KO’s) lost to Ancajas by tenth round TKO in a fight held in Texas.
It will be interesting in the coming weeks if Ancajas does wind up defending against Rodriguez or a rematch against his number one contender Gonzalez.
File Photo - Joven Jimenez and Jerwin Ancajas (right)
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