At the age of 26, Jerwin is a seven-year pro. The IBF junior bantamweight world champion, he won the title in September, 2016, and has made four successful title defenses.
He is considered by most observers to be one of the Philippines’ top young talents, with the potential to become his homeland’s next major star. Jerwin was recently voted the “2017 Athlete of the Year” by the Philippine Sportswriters Association.
He is co-promoted by Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions – he is Manny’s first world champion – and Top Rank, who calls him “the next Manny Pacquiao.”
Jerwin is undefeated in 16 fights – 15-0, 1 NSF, with 14 knockouts – since his only loss by majority decision in March, 2012.
He made his United States debut in his last fight on February 3 in Corpus Christi, Texas, and won by 10th-round TKO against Israel Gonzalez. The bout was co-featured with the Gilberto Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed main event.
ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported from ringside [excerpts]: Jerwin Ancajas, in his first fight since signing a co-promotional deal with Top Rank, retained his 115-pound world title for the fourth time as he knocked out Israel Gonzalez in the 10th round of an entertaining fight.
Gonzalez was competitive, but Ancajas appeared to win all of the rounds and scored three knockdowns.
Ancajas got off to a quick start when, barely a minute into the fight, he landed a straight left hand and knocked Gonzalez to his rear end. Although he was OK after the knockdown, he did not have much success with Ancajas, who kept him at bay by continually stepping in with a hard right jab to set up his other punches.
Gonzalez, perhaps realizing he was falling behind on the scorecards, came out for the fifth round and went right at Ancajas, trying to rough him up. He landed a couple of sharp punches and they also had an accidental head-butt, but by the time the round ended Ancajas was back in control, landing combinations and sticking his jab in Gonzalez’s face.
Ancajas continued to win round after round in a competitive fight and punctuated the seventh by landing a booming right hook that sent sweat flying from Gonzalez’s head.
Ancajas landed a left hand on the chin to drop Gonzalez to his rear end in the 10th round. After the fight resumed, Ancajas threw one more punch – a powerful straight left hand that landed on the temple area – that caused Gonzalez to collapse to the mat as [the] referee waved off the fight at 1 minute, 50 seconds.
Many have called Ancajas the next Manny Pacquiao because he is also a southpaw from the Philippines with an exciting style, who also happens to be co-promoted by the eight-division world champion.
If Ancajas continues to score knockouts like he has been doing, the comparisons to Pacquiao will persist. Ancajas said that’s OK and it does not make him put any more pressure on himself. [End Rafael item]
In his post-fight interview, Jerwin said through an interpreter, “I was expecting the knockout. I’m not too worried about the comparisons to Manny Pacquiao, but if I can achieve a little bit of the success that he has achieved I will be very happy.”
PERSONAL, AMATEUR BACKGROUND: Jerwin said through an ingerpreter that he was born in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, Philippines, and has one older brother and one older sister…his father is a farmer…brother Jesar Ancajas, older by nine years, is a former pro lightweight who last fought in March, 2015, and retired with a record of 15-17-2, 7 KOs…
Jerwin said he started to box at the age of nine when his brother took him to the gym for the first time…he reportedly had 95 amateur fights, with a record of 90-5…
He was reportedly a two-time national amateur junior-division champion in the Philippines, and a two-time national champion in the open division before he turned pro at 17…
Jerwin is naturally right-handed, but fights in the left-handed stance – his amateur coach trained him to fight as a left-hander…
Jerwin lives with his partner, Ruth Balaoing, and has two children, four-year-old Kyrie Ancajas, and two-year-old Kyle Ancajas, who were named after NBA players Kyle Korver and Kyrie Irving…
From Rappler.com, by Ryan Songalia [Jan. 17, 2017 – excerpts]: Ancajas is used to a simple lifestyle growing up in Panabo City, Davao del Norte. The youngest of 3 children, his father worked on a banana plantation while his mother tended to the family. They were poor, he says….
Ancajas’ introduction to boxing came in second grade when he watched his older brother, Jesar, box as an amateur. Jesar brought his younger brother to Almendras Gym in Davao City to train with him….
Beginning in 2003 Ancajas compiled amateur gold after amateur gold, including a gold in the 2008 Palarong Pambansa on a team which included 2012 Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga and unbeaten prospect John Vincent Moralde.
Rather than stick around to fight in international tournaments, Ancajas turned pro at age 17.
“I began to like boxing. It’s as if I could not live without boxing even though I was still so young,” Ancajas says.
He excelled, winning two golds at the National Games, plus another gold at the 2008 Palarong Pambansa as an amateur. An international career with the national team could have been in his plans but he opted to turn pro at age 17.
Four fights into his pro run, he aligned himself with Joven Jimenez, who became his manager and trainer. [End Songalia item]
From Rappler.com, by Ryan Songalia [Nov. 10, 2017 – excerpts]: On a barely paved road about a 3-hour drive outside of Metro Manila, after a labyrinth of side streets and short cuts through muddy farms, a small concrete block building rests off to the side. It looks more like an above-ground bomb shelter than a home. Just behind it, on a clearing with tiny chickens crowing about and puppies barely 6 months old running amok, is a boxing ring, with 4 fiber ropes enclosing it, and a blue MP Promotions tarp covering the cement blocks on the ring floor which were probably left over from building the house.
There are no signs proclaiming it Home of the Champ, namely IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, but residents of Barangay Ramirez in Magallanes, Cavite, can tell there’s something special about their new neighbors.
Ancajas purchased the lot, which he has dubbed Survival Camp, for P250,000 [note: $5,013 in U.S. dollars] after his title defense in Brisbane, Australia, when the shy fighter from Panabo City walked out in front of more than 50,000 fans in the Suncorp Stadium and put a beating on Japan’s Teiru Kinoshita.
Ancajas hopes to convert it to a full-scale training facility to house sparring partners and fighters from abroad who want to train in seclusion, but for now it’s a bare-bones establishment, with the speed bag imaginary, jokes Ancajas’ trainer/manager Joven Jimenez, and amenities which include a pit grill – which means that every meal is a barbecue – and an outhouse opposite it.
“Some of the sparring partners sleep in the small structure alongside Ancajas, his two small children and his wife. Jimenez, other sparring partners, and members of the team sleep inside the ring, shielded from the elements by an aluminum roof about 20 feet above the ring.
It beats some of the places where they’d trained before, Jimenez says. Ancajas boxes in that space, rain or shine, fighting against rains that recognize no 3-minute round clock. If Marvin Hagler went to Prison for his training camps, Ancajas is Stranded in the Wilderness, waking each morning at 6:30 to run the hills of Tagaytay, 500 meters above sea level [note: 1,640 feet], eating meals of native chicken, handpicked from among the crop that interrupts each conversation with its crowing, and falling asleep to the deafening buzz of crickets.
“I can really focus here since it’s quiet and the place is not crowded,” says Ancajas in Filipino. “Especially at night when people around here fall asleep around 8 pm.”
“He’s hungrier now. Our situation here, it’s still kind of difficult. We’re still not wealthy. Our gym is not up to shape or completed. His house, the same,” Jimenez says. “That’s what gives Jerwin that hunger – because he wants to complete his house with his family.”
The goal, Ancajas says, is to eventually be mentioned in the same breath as other great champions from the Philippines, like Manny Pacquiao, Flash Elorde, and Pancho Villa. That’ll take some time, but he hopes that unifying titles and conquering other weight classes will earn him that distinction.
In boxing, as in life, it’s survival of the fittest. After surviving camp, Ancajas can survive just about anything. [End Songalia item]