WATCH: Jerwin Ancajas is ready for primetime
MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas is ready for primetime.
The 25-year-old from Panabo City won the IBF junior bantamweight championship last year in Taguig with no live television coverage, with most catching the fight after Rappler posted the video a few hours later.
His first defense in Macau in January was shown on CCTV, but again wasn't broadcast in the Philippines.
Now, in his second title defense against mandatory challenger Teiru Kinoshita, Ancajas' fight will be beamed to millions of homes around the world at primetime on ESPN in the United States, as the co-featured bout underneath the Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn fight this Sunday, July 2, at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
"We are very excited because of the many people who will be watching the fight on TV, that is why we want to show a good fight. The fight has to be impressive," said Ancajas (26-1-1, 17 knockouts), a soft-spoken father of two who now lives and trains out of Cavite.
The southpaw boxer-puncher has been one of the best kept secrets of Philippine boxing for a number of years, but the cat may be out of the bag when he gets his showcase against Kinoshita (25-1-1, 8 KOs), a 31-year-old lefty who is looking to make good in his second shot at a world title.
"We saw his fights on Youtube; he is good [at going the] distance. That is why even if they say that he is weak, we will still not take him for granted," added Ancajas.
Kinoshita, whose only prior loss was to the incredible Zolani Tete, said Ancajas is "very tough and powerful" at Thursday's public workout in Brisbane's Central Business District.
"My heart and fighting spirit," Kinoshita says of what he thinks gives him a chance to unseat Ancajas. Kinoshita says he first fell in love with boxing after watching his countryman Masamori Tokuyama, also a light-hitting but skillful fighter, unseat Korean In-Joo Cho to win the WBC junior bantamweight title in 2000.
Ancajas may not get much recognition walking down the street just yet, but that could change in the near future.
"I hope, especially those Filipinos who will be watching the fight, I hope you will be supporting us to win," said Ancajas. – Rappler.com