Make-or-break for Jerwin

It’s payback time for Jerwin Ancajas today as the Filipino southpaw attempts to regain the International Boxing Federation super-flyweight title in Carson, California.

Posing a serious threat to his bold bid is Fernando Martinez of Argentina, who had dealt Ancajas a stinging loss in winning the IBF 115-lb crown last February in Las Vegas.

During the official weighin on the eve of the scheduled 12-rounder, Ancajas came in at 114 ¾ lbs, just a shade below the division’s 115-lb max.

Martinez, making the first defense, also stepped in at 114 ¾ lbs and is the oddsmakers’ favorite.

Latest odds have Martinez listed at -230 ($230 wins $100) and Ancajas at +175 ($100 wins $175).

Holding a 33-2-2 record with 22 knockouts, Ancajas insists he was not in terrific shape during the first showdown with Martinez, who parades a 14-0 mark with eight knockouts.

To get ready for the second meeting, Ancajas reached out to the Philippine Sports Commission for support in his quest to become a world champion again.

The PSC, through Executive Director Guillermo Iroy, didn’t think twice about helping Ancajas and immediately referred the fighter to nutrition and strength and conditioning experts.

To rev up for Martinez, Ancajas set up camp in Magallanes, Cavite, before spending the second phase of training in Las Vegas.

Ancajas, 30, reigned as IBF champion starting in September 2016 and traveled the world while defending the title, fighting in Macau, Australia, Northern Ireland, Mexico and the United States several times.

Martinez, 31, is Argentina’s lone reigning world champion.

Known for his willingness to fight bell-to-bell, Martinez did just that in messing up Ancajas’ gameplan the first time they squared off, a tactic the South American is expected to use again.

Eddie Hernandez Sr (Honduras) will be the third man in the ring while scoring this much-awaited rematch are Zachary Young (California), Tiffany Clinton (California) and Ellis Johnson (Texas).

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