By Juan Flores: Unbeaten Irish star Jamie Conlan (19-0, 11 KOs) will be testing himself against IBF World super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18 KOs) tonight in the co-feature bout on the Carl Frampton vs. Horacio Garcia card at The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Conlan comes into tonight’s fight ranked #4 by the IBF, and the underdog. Conlan needs to show that he deserves the title shot against Ancajas, because a lot of boxing fans feel he doesn’t rate.
Conlan, 31, has talked a good game, but he’s still terribly over-matched in this fight. If fights were won based on bravado and self-promoting, Conlan will have zero problems beating the brakes off of the younger, faster and more powerful Ancajas, but that’s not how boxing is.
You have to possess the talent to win in most cases or you have to get lucky with the scoring, which can be bizarre at times in the sport. Conlan is older, slower than and nowhere near as powerful as Ancajas. The fight is a mismatch on paper.
Conlan’s best chance of winning tonight is to take it the full 12 round distance, and hope that he’s made the rounds close enough for him to get the nod with the judges. With the fight taking place in Belfast, Conlan will be in a good position to win the close rounds, if there is any. The Irish boxing fans that will be in the crowd tonight will be cheering everything Conlan does inside the ring. Conlan just needs to make the rounds close somehow, and then hope the judges see it his way.
It’s unlikely that Conlan will win though. Ancajas is looking so much better right now. Ancajas might be the second best fighter in the super flyweight division right now behind only WBO champion Naoya Inoue. It would be good to see Ancajas fight Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Khalid Yafai in unification fights if possible. We could see whether he has the talent that some boxing fans think he has.
Conlan has been a pro since 2009, and he still hasn’t fought anyone that you can call a good fighter. Conlan’s resume is padded with largely mediocre opponents unfortunately, It would be interesting to see how well Conlan would do if he had faced the cream of the crop at super flyweight the last 8 years instead of the record-padding opponents that he’s been facing.
Judge for yourself the quality of Conlan’s opposition. Here are the last 6 opponents Conlan has faced:
• Yader Cardoza (22-10-1)
• David Koos (8-2-1)
• Patrik Bartos (7-9)
• Anthony Nelson(11-0)
• Adrian Dimas Garzon (10-18)
• Junior Granados (13-3-1)
Those are some terrible records that Conlan’s opponents have had. Only Conlan knows why he’s elected to fight those types of guys instead of the talents in the 115 lb. division. These are the type of fighters that Conlan should have been fighting:
• Roman Garcia
• Carlos Cuadras
• Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
• Juan Francisco Estrada
• Khalid Yafai
• Naoya Inoue
• Jerwin Ancajas
“I’ve prepared for this my whole career,” said Conlan. ”MTK have given me this opportunity and I’m going to grab it with both hands. Ancajas is a great fighter, probably one of the top two super-flyweights in the world, but I’ll be leaving the Odyssey with that belt on Saturday night.”
It’s hard to know how good Ancajas is, because he’s not fought a lot of good fighters either. He’s in the same position as Conlan when it comes to his weak resume.
Ancajas has at least one good name on his resume with his recent win over McJoe Arroyo last year on September 3, 2016. Ancajas beat Arroyo by a 12 round unanimous decision by the scores 118-109, 115-112 and 117-112. It was a good fight from Ancajas in taking the International Boxing Federation 115 lb. title from a very good fighter in Arroyo. Ancajas’ other good wins on his resume have come against Teiru Kinoshita and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez. However, those fighters are a million miles away from the talented guys in the super flyweight division.
Ancajas is beatable, but I just don’t think Conlan is the guy to do it. The only loss in Ancajas’ 8-year pro career came against little known Mark Anthony Geraldo (24-4-3) in March 2012. That’s an opponent that Ancajas would likely easily beat if the two of them fought each other now. At the time that Ancajas fought Geraldo, he was only 20-years-old and nowhere near the fighter he is today. Ancajas has really improved in the last five years, and he’s now fighting at a really high level.