Aiming to become first PH undisputed champ since ‘Flash,’ Ancajas looks to improve style | Inquirer Sports
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Aiming to become first PH undisputed champ since ‘Flash,’ Ancajas looks to improve style

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:01 AM April 17, 2021
Jerwin Ancajas Jonathan Rodriguez

Photo from Showtime Boxing’s Twitter

Jerwin Ancajas understands that even after nine successful defenses of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) World super flyweight title, his game isn’t the finished product yet.

After beating Mexican Jonathan Rodriguez via unanimous decision recently, Ancajas learned from that fight that he needs to morph into an even more complete fighter.

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He wants to brawl, too.

“In that fight [against Rodriguez], we saw a lot of punches from the opponent,” Ancjas told the Inquirer in a Zoom interview on Thursday. “I need to develop punches so I can brawl with opponents [like Rodriguez].”

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“We’re going to figure out how to do that.”

Thirst for improvement

Ancajas’ thirst for improvement is understandable given one of his career goals. He wants to be the first undisputed super flyweight champion of the country and the first undisputed champion since the late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.

“We’re always trying to challenge the other champions so we can make our mark, if given the chance, in Philippine history,” said Ancajas.

The path won’t be easy. Not even Filipino ring icon Manny Pacquiao, who owns a record of eight weight class titles, became an undisputed champion. And when Elorde reigned supreme from 1963 to 1967, there were only two sanctioning bodies, the World Boxing Council (WBC) and the World Boxing Association (WBA).

To become the undisputed super flyweight king, Ancajas needs to corner four belts: WBC, WBA, IBF and World Boxing Organization (WBO). And Ancajas, who would rather collect the three remaining belts out there than sign up for enticing showdowns at the bantamweight class, knows the difficulty of shooting for the undisputed crown.

“Other promoters are protecting their fighters and don’t want to put them in a fight,” said Ancajas. “Plus, we champions have different promoters. There’s also the pandemic that’s why it is difficult.”

Ancajas has held the IBF title for almost five years already after taking the championship in September 2016, when he defeated McJoe Arroyo in Taguig City—his last bout in the Philippines.

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The 29-year-old Cavite native is also the longest-reigning champion in the division with Japan’s Kazuto Ioka having held the WBO title in June 2019 while Juan Francisco Estrada first won the WBC belt in April 2019 before unifying it with the WBA Super strap this March when he beat Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

Won’t give away belts

Ancajas said that even if his handlers at MP Promotions and Premier Boxing Champions succeed at making multiple title fights, he still needs to work out the victory on the ring. And champions aren’t that keen to give away their belts easily.

“Negotiations are hard, but fighting is even harder,” said Ancajas (33-1-2). “We all know champions won’t go down that easily, they won’t give their belt away that quick.”
Which is why he figures a change in style is needed. INQ

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