Jer­win says Thai easy target

The Philippine Star - - SPORTS - By JOAQUIN HEN­SON

If and when IBF su­per­fly­weight cham­pion Jer­win An­ca­jas faces WBC coun­ter­part Srisaket Sor Rungvi­sai in a uni­fi­ca­tion ti­tle show­down, the Filipino said yes­ter­day it won’t be dif­fi­cult to con­nect be­cause the plod­ding Thai is slow, mak­ing for an easy target.

An­ca­jas, trainer Joven Jimenez, match­maker Sean Gib­bons and Gib­bons’ son Bren­dan were at ring­side in Bangkok last week­end to watch Rungvi­sai’s de­fense against Mex­i­can Iran Diaz. Af­ter Rungvi­sai was de­clared the win­ner by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion, An­ca­jas en­tered the ring to con­grat­u­late the Thai and slung the IBF belt on his shoul­der. Rungvi­sai looked An­ca­jas in the eye but didn’t say a word.

Gib­bons said he has ini­ti­ated talks with Rungvi­sai’s man­ager Than­chai Pisitwut­ti­nan on the pos­si­bil­ity of a duel be­tween the south­paws in the US in Fe­bru­ary. The WBC has de­layed Rungvi­sai’s manda­tory fight against Mex­ico’s Juan Fran­cisco Estrada to al­low for one more vol­un­tary de­fense, paving the way for the cham­pi­onship uni­fi­ca­tion. The WBC’s con­di­tion, how­ever, is af­ter the next vol­un­tary de­fense, the win­ner must face Estrada.

Gib­bons said he will try to ar­range a fight for Estrada in the un­der­card. That means work­ing it out with Top Rank which pro­motes An­ca­jas and Zan­fer, the Mex­i­can com­pany that rep­re­sents Estrada. The su­per­fly­weight divi­sion has IBF su­per­fly­weight

cham­pion Jer­win An­ca­jas (third from left) with trainer Joven Jimenez,

match­maker Sean Gib­bons and Gib­bons’ son

Bren­dan. been gain­ing me­dia mileage lately with the emer­gence of ex­cit­ing con­tenders to chal­lenge the cham­pi­ons. A main event fea­tur­ing An­ca­jas against Rungvi­sai with Estrada in the un­der­card is a po­ten­tial block­buster.

Jimenez said dur­ing his Bangkok visit, An­ca­jas was in­vited by Thai pro­moter Jimmy Chaichatchuang to share his story with Thai fight­ers un­der his care. Chaichatchuang asked An­ca­jas to re­late how dis­ci­pline, hard work and ded­i­ca­tion led him to a world ti­tle. The Thai pro­moter wanted An­ca­jas to in­spire the fight­ers who were dis­ap­pointed with the down­turn in former IBF fly­weight cham­pion Am­nat Ruen­ro­eng’s ca­reer. Am­nat, a Chaichatchuang pro­tégé, rep­re­sented Thai­land at the 2008 Olympics, turned pro, be­came a world cham­pion, re­turned to the 2016 Olympics and has taken to the bot­tle with his ca­reer at an ebb.

An­ca­jas said he was im­pressed by Rungvi­sai’s power but not his mo­bil­ity. “Malakas siya pero maba­gal at madal­ing tamaan kasi sugod ng sugod,” he said. “Dalawang be­ses siya bu­magsak kay Diaz. Yung ref­eree (Jay Nady) hindi siya bini­lan­gan at slip daw. Nakita ko sapol yung right up­per­cut noong unang bagsak at sa pan­galawa, tu­mama right straight. Mat­a­pang si Rungvi­sai. Nag­pa­pa­sun­tok para lang makalapit at mak­abi­gay. Walang masyadong foot­work. Ma­g­a­n­dang la­ban kung kami na. Hindi siya aa­tras. Sasabayan ko siya kanya matira ang mat­i­bay.”

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