Ancajas signs 6-fight deal with Top Rank 2 Related So who has a chance to carry the mantle of Filipino boxing for the next few years? It very well could be junior bantamweight world titleholder Jerwin Ancajas. Now, there won't be another Pacquiao; he's one of the greatest fighters in history.
But Ancajas and Pacquiao do have a few similarities. They're both southpaws who fire punches at unusual angles and have good power. They are both crowd-pleasers. They began their careers at about the same weight, Pacquiao at pounds and Ancajas at And they both had already won a world title by the time they came to the United States looking for bigger fights.
Seventeen years after Pacquiao arrived in the United States and won a junior featherweight world title in thrilling fashion on an Oscar De La Hoya undercard in Las Vegas in , Ancajas has arrived on these shores looking to defend his junior bantamweight world title and also to make a statement to American boxing fans.
He's not that recognized and the focus [in the Philippines] is still on Manny, but Jerwin is on the way up," said longtime Manila Times boxing reporter Nick Giongco, who has covered most of Pacquiao's career and is in the United States to cover Ancajas-Gonzalez.
Whether he becomes the next Manny Pacquiao, we'll see.
But he has the swagger and the same style. He can be the next guy to carry boxing in the Philippines. But I watched a lot of Manny's videos, so maybe that's why.
Like any other Filipino fighter, I idolize Manny Pacquiao.
And it was another thrill for Ancajas to make his second title defense, a one-sided, seventh-round knockout of mandatory challenger Teiru Kinoshita, on the Pacquiao-Horn undercard on ESPN in Brisbane, Australia. It was good experience for me and good exposure for me. But then I saw him and I said, 'This guy is exciting, the way he punches!
It was that performance and the aftermath that convinced Arum that he needed to sign Ancajas and unleash him on the American boxing public.
They hit it off and Arum said it was Skipper who gave him the final push to pursue a deal with Ancajas. Why would they want anybody else promoting this kid than Top Rank, knowing what we have been able to do with top Filipino fighters, Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire?
I want to make a lasting impression. I want American fight fans to see more of me by coming up with a performance that's an improvement from my last few fights.
Ancajas aims to someday fight them. I have plans for going up in weight eventually like Manny Pacquiao did, but I feel strong at , so only time will tell.
The gym, of course, is owned by Hall of Famer Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's longtime trainer who is very famous in the Philippines. Ancajas is trained and managed by Joven Jimenez, but Roach was happy to allow Ancajas to use his gym to prepare for the fight with Gonzalez, who has won eight fights in a row but will be taking a big step up in the level of his opposition.
My dream just came true. At last, I am at the Wild Card Boxing Club," said Ancajas, who was thrilled to be where Pacquiao trained for so many big fights and to walk around the gym and look at the Pacquiao memorabilia that adorns the walls.
If all goes well for Ancajas on Saturday and beyond, perhaps someday his memorabilia will find a home on a gym wall where other fighters with big hopes and dreams will see it and find inspiration.
Arum, of course, has high hopes for Ancajas. That's a lot to ask of anybody and it's not fair to ask.
But he has that same crowd-pleasing style. I think he can go a long way.