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Jerwin Ancajas has stepped up his preparation for the first defense of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight crown later this month in Macau.
Even during the holidays, the southpaw Ancajas showed up every single day at the gym in Imus, Cavite, determined to repulse the challenge of Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico when they lock horns on Jan. 29 at the Studio City Hotel.
“While the other boxers were enjoying and spending time with their loved ones, Jerwin was busy training because he wants to come up with a big win,” said JovenJimenez, who has been supervising Ancajas’ training camp that kicked off in November.
Even though Rodriguez was victimized by Milan Melindo, the camp of Ancajas is not taking him for granted.
“You can’t underestimate him. Anything can happen in boxing so we are working hard,” said Jimenez, who handles Ancajas with the assistance of Manny Pacquiao adviser Mike Koncz and American matchmaker Sean Gibbons.
Ancajas (25-1 with 16 KOs) captured the IBF 115-lb crown by beating up McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico last September.
A right-hander, Rodriguez (32-4 with 19 KOs) is a seasoned campaigner and somebody not to be messed with.
“He’s got lots of experience,” admits Jimenez.
Aside from fighting most of the time in Mexico, Rodriguez, 27, has also seen action in Peru, Japan, the US, and of course, the Philippines when he dropped a decision to Melindo in 2013.
To rev up for Rodriguez, Jimenez has tapped the services of veteran Drian Francisco and a young cast made up of Daniel Lim, Jopher Montano and Marvilo Aballe.
Ancajas is one of just three reigning Filipino world champions apart from Manny Pacquiao and Marlon Tapales.