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Big in Japan

While he is fiery and fearless on top of the ring, he is gentle with his opponents right after the fight

Jerwin Ancajas can’t wait to go to Japan and get down to business.

The Filipino southpaw is slated to challenge Takuma Inoue for the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown on 15 November at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

While Ancajas relishes the idea of taking the WBA 118-lb strap, he is excited to fight there because the country is one destination he had long wanted to go to.

Actually, Ancajas had been booked to fight there a few years ago but the fight was scrapped, leaving the Mindanao-born fighter broken-hearted.

“I can’t wait to get there,” Ancajas told the Japanese media in an online chat recently from his Las Vegas training camp.

When he gets there in early-November, Ancajas would be surprised to see that he’s got quite a following among Japanese fight fans.

“Japanese (boxing) people like him very much,” Kei Nidaira, an avid boxing supporter told me some weeks back during lunch in Tokyo.

Having known Ancajas, it’s not hard to like the guy.

While he is fiery and fearless on top of the ring, he is gentle with his opponents right after the fight.

One time in Corpus Christi, Texas, Ancajas duked it out with Israel Gonzalez of Mexico.

As soon as the referee called a halt to the contest, Ancajas — instead of celebrating with his cornermen — immediately consoled his fallen rival to see if he is okay.

Against an overmatched Ryuichi Funai in Stockton, California, Ancajas couldn’t stop saying sorry when the two met at the dressing room.

Funai’s face was a mess.

So, it’s not surprising to know that the Japanese adore him and Ancajas feels that even if he fights on hostile ground in less than two months, he would feel at home.

Meanwhile, Takuma, whose brother is pound-for-pound star Naoya, isn’t one dude intending to give Ancajas a pleasant experience in November.

“I would like to be a unified champion like my brother,” he said.

That only means one thing.

Takuma plans to ruin Ancajas’ stay in Japan.

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