Boxing: No rest for Ancajas, who hits the gym fresh off arriving in California

Roy Luarca

Posted at May 17 2018 03:14 AM

Jerwin Ancajas trains at Survival Camp in Magallanes town, Cavite earlier this month. Ancajas is currently in Los Angeles as his world-title defense in Fresno, Calif., draws closer. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Every second counts now for Jerwin Ancajas.

Just hours after arriving in Los Angeles from Manila on Tuesday, Ancajas and trainer Joven Jimenez immediately buckled down to work.

Trying to prevent jet lag from creeping in, Ancajas and Jimenez did warm-up drills to break sweat then hit the mitts at the gym. In addition, Jimenez made the world champion do plyometric exercises to put some spring back in his legs.

Ancajas isn’t playing catchup in his preparation for his fifth defense of the International Boxing Federation super-flyweight crown.

The pride of Panabo City and now proud resident of Magallanes town, Cavite, believes he has covered all bases, including the timetable, in his quest to stop challenger and countryman Jonas Sultan of ALA Boxing stable.

Adapting a different strategy, Sultan, trainer Edito Villamor and 3-division world champion Donnie Nietes went to Los Angeles 2 weeks earlier to spend more time training at Wild Card Gym.

Team Ancajas was at Survival Camp in Magallanes and will continue fine-tuning its fight plan in Los Angeles until May 21.

Asian Games gold medalist Roberto Jalnaiz has been tapped by Jimenez to assist him in last-minute preparations of Ancajas.

Rated as a favorite over Sultan, Ancajas said he won’t be lulled into overconfidence.

Describing Sultan (14-3 with 9 KOs) as skilled and strong, Ancajas (29-1, 20 KOs) is treating their May 26 collision at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., with the same caution as when he defended the 115-pound crown against Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, Japanese Teiru Kinoshita, Irish Jamie Conlan and Mexican Israel Gonzalez in succession.

All these challengers got stopped, but Ancajas won’t predict another knockout against Sultan.

For now, his focus is on making weight, stepping inside the ring, and providing fans an entertaining historic fight — the first world title duel between two Filipinos on foreign soil.

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