by Nick Giongco
STOCKTON, California – Mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai tapped four left-handers during his training camp in Japan to help him cope with the southpaw style of International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Speaking to two Manila-based scribes on Tuesday at the lobby of the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, Funai swears that he is looking forward to knocking the IBF 115-lb crown off Ancajas’s head on Saturday at the Stockton Arena.
“(I am) Very confident of winning,” said Funai, 33, and holder of a 31-7 22 KOs record.
Funai, who will be battling jet lag since it’ll be his first time fighting outside Japan insists that he has figured out Ancajas by getting the services of four lefties and sparring with them for 150 rounds.
“I know how to fight him (Ancajas),” said Funai of the 27-year-old Filipino Ancajas, who will be making a mandatory defense.
Ancajas, 30-1-2 with 20 KOs, and Funai are going to see each other for the first time in the flesh on Wednesday during an open media workout at the Los Gallos Boxing Gym, a mere five-minute drive from Ancajas’ rented house.
Funai, who arrived Sunday from Tokyo via Sacramento, added that the remaining days will be devoted solely on keeping his weight in check.
“Right now, I am two kilos over but that’s not a problem because taking it off will be manageable,” said Funai in halting English.
As for Ancajas, the favored champion opted to skip gym work and instead worked out behind closed doors.
Under the supervision of lead trainer and manager Joven Jimenez.
Ancajas shadowboxed and just did the mitts with Jimenez to cap the light workout as they prepare for the most crucial phase next to the fight itself: the official weighin on Friday.
To prepare for the weighin, Ancajas welcomed the arrival later Tuesday of his nutritionist Jeaneth Aro, who touched down in San Francisco via Philippine Airlines.
Aro will be closely watching Ancajas food intake in the next three to four days as they get ready not only for the fight but for the trip to the scales on Friday afternoon.