Ancajas must swarm Japanese foe to retain junior bantamweight crown

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World junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas trains at the Elorde Gym in Imus, Cavite in preparation for his fight in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight on July 2. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA — World junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas will need to be the aggressor when he meets his taller Japanese foe in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn fight on July 2.

The left-handed Ancajas is scheduled to make his second title defense against Teiru Kinoshita, a rangy fighter who is coming off three consecutive knockout victories.

Ancajas’s trainer and manager Joven Jimenez already saw Kinoshita’s fight tape and has devised a game plan for the Filipino champion.

“‘Yung nakita namin kay Kinoshita, sa skills ‘di gaanong kagalingan talaga,” Jimenez noted. “Pero matibay ang Hapon at mas matangkad.”

Kinotshita enjoys a one-inch height advantage over the 5-foot-6 Ancajas, but the coach believes there are ways to offset this.

“Kailangan maging agresibo si Jerwin kasi sigurado kami tatakbo ito,” said Jimenez. 

“Maraming suntok, suntok ng suntok. Kung sasabay lang siya sa isa isang suntok ng kalaban niya, matatalo siya.”

Ancajas, for his part, acknowledged that speed will also be a factor in the fight. He needs to close the distance against the taller opponent so he can do damage against the Japanese. 

“Kailangan namin ng bilis, kasi matangkad po siya sa amin. Kailangan namin ng taktika kasi magaling din ‘yung kalaban ko,” said Ancajas.

The Panabo City, Davao del Norte native expects the fight to be a long-drawn affair.

“Para sa akin po mahabang laban ito kasi si Kinoshita naman po hindi pipitsugin na kalaban. Magaling din ‘yun. Swerte na lang kung matapos ng madali ang laban,” he said.

Ancajas has a record of 26-1-1 while Kinoshita has 25 wins in 27 fights.

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