Yes, Ancajas is his own kind of warrior
Jerwin Ancajas didn’t have to make a prefight announcement that he would go and fight in his own way.
Manny Pacquiao himself called Ancajas minutes before last Sunday’s title defense in Texas for a vital advice.
Said a post-fight message from Top Rank Press quoting Ancajas: “Sen. Pacquiao prayed for me before the fight. He called to tell me to be relaxed and to not put any pressure on myself. He told me to be myself inside the ring.”
Ancajas later said Pacquiao also told him to be patient.
There was great celebration over Ancajas’ 10th round stoppage of Mexican Israel Gonzalez for a successful defense of his IBF junior bantamweight title. It was already the fourth defense, but as the victory was achieved in his debut in the United States, it also helped solidify his reign as a world champion.
Ancajas had swept through his three previous triumphs with relative ease.
The 21-year-old Gonzalez, who had vowed loudly to dethrone Ancajas, proved a worthy championship opponent.
Gonzalez was decked with a left shot to the head early in the bout. But he hung through and caused Ancajas some anxious moments.
Ancajas did put in a masterful performance. But as expected, there were those who were not fully thrilled by the victory.
There were post-fight cries Ancajas should have dug in ferociously for a finishing blitz, in the tradition of Pacquiao, after having decked Gonzalez early.
There were also taunts that Ancajas at times appeared tentative and over-cautious, and therefore lacked the breathtaking sharpness of Pacquiao.
Many street fans must’ve thought Ancajas would also be mighty explosive like Pacquiao.
He did not say it, but although Ancajas fought under the shadow of his benefactor Manny Pacquiao, he trained hard to do business in his methodical, calculating way.
His handlers were one in saying Ancajas has visibly matured. At the same time, there’s no hiding the need for him to keep improving.
Sorry, if there was no Pacquiao clone up there inside the ring in Texas on Sunday. It was an original new type of warrior from the Philippines who has emerged to quietly bring honor to his flag and country.
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