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Ancajas predicts Donaire victory

Nonito Donaire remains a livewire opponent even at age 40. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Jhay Otamias

Having fought Alejandro Santiago in 2018, Jerwin Ancajas feels Nonito Donaire should have no problem trying to figure out the tricky Mexican when they square off for the vacant World Boxing Council bantamweight throne on 29 July.

“I have faith and full confidence in Nonito,” Ancajas said yesterday from Las Vegas where he has been training while waiting for a world title shot.

“Nonito still packs a lot of power and the only thing that could work against him is becoming over-confident,” Ancajas, who reigned as world champion from 2016 until 2022, said.

“Alejandro’s camp is low-key but knows very well to read an opponent and come up with a solid gameplan,” said Ancajas, who battled Santiago to a controversial split draw when they rumbled in Oakland, California.

“Nonito knows what to do,” he added.

The Donaire-Santiago clash takes place in the undercard of the world welterweight showdown between Terence Crawford and Errol Spence at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Rated No. 1 in the 118-lb class by the WBC, Donaire is coming off a savage second-round knockout defeat to Naoya Inoue in June 2022.

Since the Ancajas stalemate, Santiago, who is 13 years younger than Donaire at 27, has won 11 of his last 12 outings, including seven victories inside the distance.

If he gets past Santiago, the 40-year-old Donaire will join Marlon Tapales as the country’s only reigninng world champions.

Santiago, who hasn’t been stopped, poses serious threats in Donaire’s quest to make another title run.

A four-division titleholder, Donaire is listed a -190 favorite ($190 wins $100) to beat Santiago, who is pegged at +160 ($100 wins $160).

Before relocating to Las Vegas for the final phase of his buildup, Donaire set up training camp in Cebu City.

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