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Jerwin Ancajas 2 weeks away from Israel Gonzalez fight

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By Stanley White: The hard-hitting Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KOs) is slightly less than 2 weeks away from his title defense for his IBF super flyweight belt against Israel Gonzalez (21-1, 8 KOs) on February 3 in their ESPN televised fight at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ancajas, 26, looked really good in his last successful title defense of his IBF 115 lb. title in beating Jamie Conlan by a 6th round knockout on November 18 at The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Conlan is the brother of 2016 Olympian Michael Conlan. Ancajas knocked Conlan down 4 times in the fight in dropping him in rounds 1, 3, 4 and 6. Conlan could not handle the heavy shots to the body that Ancajas was landing.

Ancajas vs. Gonzalez is the main support for the super middleweight title defense by WBO champion Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez against Habib Ahmed. That’s not much of a main event unfortunately. Top Rank has opted to go soft for their fighter Gilberto Ramirez after the tough time he had beating fellow stable mate Jesse Hart last September. With the less than impressive main event fight between Ramirez and Habib, Ancajas-Gonzalez has a very good chance of stealing the show on February 3 on ESPN.

This is Ancajas’ big opportunity to try and carve out a big fan base in the United States. It’s unclear how many boxing fans that will be tuning in to see the card on ESPN. It probably won’t be seen by a lot of fans due to Ramirez-Ahmed being a lackluster voluntary defense by Ramirez instead of a good fight with him facing a talented contender.

Ancajas inked with Top Rank recently for 3 fights. It’s possible Top Rank will extend that contract if Ancajas looks good and wins his fights. They’ve picked a perfect opponent for Ancajas to look good against in #9 IBF Gonzalez, who was beaten a little less than 2 years ago by Argi Cortes (6-2) by a 6 round unanimous decision. Gonzalez never avenged that loss. Gonzalez losing to a guy of that limited talent suggests that Top Rank has picked a weak opponent for Ancajas to showcase his talent to make him look especially good.

Ancajas currently weighs 125 pounds, according to Fight News. That puts him 10 lbs. away from the 115 lb. weigh-in limit on February 2. Ancajas is a professional though, so he should be able to make the weight for the fight without losing his IBF super flyweight title.

For Ancajas, this will be his 4th defense of his IBF title that he won in September 2016 in beating McJoe Arroyo by a 12 round unanimous decision.

Ancajas has been compared in some circles as the next Manny Pacquiao. Ancajas has a long ways to go before he gets to the level where Pacquiao is at. Ancajas doesn’t possess Pacquiao’s hand speed or his mobility, but he does have crushing power. Ancaka’s power is quite good. If Top Rank can match Ancajas up against some of the better fighters in the super flyweight division, boxing fans will get a chance to see if he has the kind of talent that will make him a star.

Ancajas lost to Mark Anthony Geraldo (24-4-3) by a 10 round majority decision 6 years ago on March 17, 2012. Ancajas has improved greatly since then, winning his last 15 fights. Geraldo’s career hasn’t done the same unfortunately. He’s turned into a journeyman.


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