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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF WENDELL ALINEA JERWIN Ancajas (right) vows to be very careful when he battles Takuma Inoue for the WBA bantamweight title on Saturday.

TOKYO, Japan — Despite his crystal-clear advantages over defending champion Takuma Inoue, Filipino challenger Jerwin Ancajas refuses to be swayed by insinuations that all he has to do to win the World Boxing Association bantamweight crown come Saturday night is to show up at the venue.

Ancajas believes there is no reason to be complacent knowing that Inoue will be coming in armed to the teeth when they both answer the bell at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.

Told that Inoue is not as hard-hitting as his esteemed brother Naoya and that Ancajas possesses stopping power, the former International Boxing Federation super-flyweight king maintains that he is not going to fall victim to overconfidence.

“My opponent is tough and is fighting at home,” Ancajas said on his fifth day in the Japanese capital while being surrounded by a pack of scribes who had flown in from Manila.

Though Ancajas’ remarks seem to be resembling those being uttered during beauty pageants, his American promoter Sean Gibbons didn’t mince any words in predicting that his fighter is going to emerge victorious after the mushroom cloud dissipates.

“I am not just 100 percent but it is actually 110 percent that Jerwin’s going to win Saturday night,” Gibbons said from the stage.

While giving credit to Inoue’s quality, Gibbons feels that Ancajas’ overall skills and power are enough to see a drastic change in the bantamweight landscape.

Still, Ancajas is not buying into Gibbons’ fearless forecast although he admits he is looking forward to a resounding win considering that he is dying to end the Philippines’ spate of losses in world title fights.

“That’s my main motivation. I badly want to give the Philippines a world title and this is what keeps me going,” he said.

There were two Filipino world champions in 2023 but Melvin Jerusalem and Marlon Tapales were already crown-less when 2024 arrived with Jerusalem losing in May and Tapales surrendering the twin super-bantam belts barely a week before New Year’s Day.

Meanwhile, the official weigh-in takes place Friday with Ancajas seeing no problems making 118 lbs.

In fact, by the time he answers the bell against Inoue, Ancajas could be hitting 137 to 138 lbs.

“That’s the target weight because if I get too heavy, I might get too slow or feel heavy,” Ancajas said, his mood upbeat and his face oozing with positive vibes.

“He’s going to be Jerwin-ner,” Gibbons added.

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