Ancajas figures in unification fight against Japanese on New Year’s Eve


JERWIN ANCAJAS aims to add Kazuto Ioka’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight belt to his International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown when he faces the Japanese in a unification fight on New Year’s Eve at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo.

MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons on Thursday confirmed the the unification fight which the BusinessMirror broke last October 14.

Ancajas and his trainer-manager Joven Jimenez will be flying to Japan from Los Angeles on December 11 to start their preparations in earnest.

“We are so happy that Ancajas, one of our first world champions, is getting this tremendous opportunity to unify his IBF title with the WBO belt,” Gibbons said. “Jerwin has waited a long time for this.”

Ancajas (33-1-2 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) said he would do everything to win in enemy territory, noting that he expects the 32-year-old Ioka (27-2 record with 15 knockouts) to also train smart and hard.

“I’m very excited and it feels so good. This is my dream fight,” Ancajas, 29, said. “I have waited six years for a signature fight to prove to everyone that I am the best 115 -pounder in the world.”

It will be his 10th defense of the crown he won six years ago.

He said setting up camp in Japan won’t be a burden when he finally faces Ioka, who defeated Mexican Francisco Rodriguez last September 1 via unanimous decision also in Tokyo.

“We can adjust three days after our arrival there. I am ready to fight anywhere,” he said. “I have been to Japan and I love the Japanese fans, they are some of the best in the world and they respect all fighters and root for the best man to win.”

Ancajas last fought in April 10 in Connecticut where he beat Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez via unanimous decision. He returned for a vacation in his native Panabo City but flew back to Los Angeles with Jimenez last August.

“We’re already studying Ioka’s style. We’re focusing on Ancajas’s speed and timing, too,” Jimenez said. “We’ve been in the training camp seriously and we safeguard everything starting with his weight and diet.”

Ioka is a formidable foe having been a four-division world champion—minimum, junior flyweight, flyweight and junior bantamweight. Josef Ramos

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