IBF champ Ancajas ready for U.S. debut

World champion Jerwin ‘Pretty Boy’ Ancajas — a protege of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao — just scratched another item off his bucket list, as he fulfilled his dream of training at the legendary Wild Card Boxing Club, the same place where his idol and now co-promoter has trained for his most famous battles.

Ancajas (26-1-1, 18 KOs), of Cavite City, Cavite, Philippines, is getting ready to make the fourth defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world title against Top-10 contender Israel Gonzalez (20-1, 8 KOs), of Cabo San Lucas, México. The fighter who says he would like to follow in the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao will make his US debut in a world title event that will take place this Saturday, February 3, at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX.

“I am here! My dream just came true. At last, I am at the Wild Card Boxing Club,“ said Ancajas after walking into the gym. As he kept walking around the gym while reviewing all the historic Pacquiao memorabilia on the walls, he specifically stopped in front of one. “What a warrior Manny was in this fight against Barrera. I never forget when I saw that fight,” added the Jr. Bantamweight champ that first saw a ‘Pacman’ fight when he was 11-years-old.

The Ancajas – Gonzalez world championship fight will be the co-main event to the Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez vs. Habib “Wild Hurricane” Ahmed World Boxing Organization (WBO) super middleweight world title rumble. Both fights will be televised live and exclusively at 10:15 p.m. EST on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and stream live on the ESPN App.

“Israel Gonzalez holds his gloves high and is very good defensively. I will have to figure him out in Corpus Christi next Saturday night on ESPN,” said the power puncher, who like Pacquiao plans to fight in multiple weight divisions.

Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum said, “Jerwin is an action fighter who has knockout power. I am anxious to see him perform in front of the fans at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi and those that will be watching on ESPN.”

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