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Jerwin bidding to join elite cast

AFTER barely making the weight, Jerwin Ancajas wolfs down a pasta dish ahead of his WBA bantamweight title fight against Takuma Inoue in Tokyo. | Photograph by Nick Giongco for the Daily Tribune

TOKYO, Japan — This dazzling Japanese capital has provided many of Philippine boxing’s greatest wins.

And on Saturday night, Jerwin Ancajas aims to join a stellar cast of winners when he battles Takuma Inoue for the World Boxing Association bantamweight title at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.

While this city also delivered several heartbreaks, it was the site where Gabriel “Flash” Elorde won many of his fights, including a knockout of Teruo Kosaka in a defense of the world junior-lightweight title in the 1960s.

It was also here where Luisito Espinosa, Gerry Peñalosa and Morris East won world titles.

In December 1995, Espinosa beat Manuel Medina of Mexico at the Korakuen Hall to bag the World Boxing Council feather diadem.

Fourteen months later, it was the turn of Peñalosa to take the spotlight when he dethroned Hiroshi Kawashima as WBC super-fly king at the same venue where Ancajas will clash with Inoue.

East, the son of an American serviceman, knocked out Akinobu Hiranaka in the 11th round to capture the WBA super-lightweight plum at the Nihon Budokan.

“It’s nice to hear the history of Tokyo as the place where many Filipino fighters won world titles. This only made me even more determined to beat Inoue on Saturday,” Ancajas said.

While the city was where many triumphs were made, it was also the site of some heartbreaks.

However, Ancajas is in no mood to hear any of those sad stories.

Ancajas fights to win.

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