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Ancajas plots Japanese invasion

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBC Jerwin Ancajas is making his ring return.

TOKYO, Japan — The stage is set for what could be the last stab at glory for Jerwin Ancajas.

A formal announcement is expected anytime soon for Ancajas’ shot at the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown of Takuma Inoue on 15 November here in the Japanese capital.

The site has yet to be picked but it’s all systems go for Ancajas’ much-awaited chance to regain his lost laurels.

After reigning for six years as International Boxing Federation super-flyweight king, Ancajas was denied to take the same strap by his Argentine tormentor Fernando Martinez, who beat the Filipino southpaw in the first defense.

Back-to-back losses to Martinez didn’t, however, stop Ancajas from easing back into contention and last June, he made his debut at 118 lbs by stopping Wilner Soto of Colombia.

To rev up for the WBA titleholder, Ancajas, 31, has intensified his training in his Las Vegas camp being ran by lead cornerman Joven Jimenez.

Ancajas, who holds a 34-3-2 record with 23 knockouts, will fly directly to Tokyo “around November 3, 4 or 5,” the fighter’s official representative Sean Gibbons told DAILY TRIBUNE on Friday.

Takuma, 27, whose brother is pound-for-pound star Naoya, holds an 18-1 record with four knockouts.

He had won the WBA belt by beating Venezuelan veteran Liborio Solis last April here.

Takuma has defeated five Filipinos and is keen on having Ancajas become his sixth victim.

His lone loss was in a world title fight in 2019 when Frenchman Nordine Oubaali, defending the World Boxing Council strap, carved out a unanimous decision in Saitama.

Before losing to Martinez in 2022, Ancajas defended the throne nine times and risked it in Macau, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Brisbane (Australia) and Puebla (Mexico) and several times in the United States.

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