Down but not out

Philippine boxing will have to wait a little longer before it gets back on its feet.

Jerwin Ancajas attempted to get back at Fernando Martinez of Argentina over the weekend but fell short.

It doesn’t look like there’s going to be a third fight between them as Ancajas is likely to go up in weight after spending the best years of his career at 115 lbs.

Last thing I heard was that the Filipino southpaw was moving up at bantamweight (118 lbs) as he has been struggling maintaining peak condition at 115.

Against Martinez, Ancajas was unable to send shivers down the South American’s spine unlike in the past when one clean shot had sent many of his foes crashing to the floor.

The last couple years, Ancajas hasn’t been that sensational.

He was actually pretty ordinary even when he scored a stoppage win in Puebla, Mexico, just before the Covid pandemic.

Perhaps, it’s because he is no longer comfortable after reigning as world champion since 2016.

Making the weight is one important thing. Fighting splendidly after making weight is another.

A few years ago, during a coverage of one of his fights in California, I was looking for Ancajas for an interview when I saw him all covered up in rubber track suit and all wrapped up in thick blanket inside his room.

The AC was turned off and I clicked a few shots.

Later, I was requested that none of those pics be posted online.

I obliged as I didn’t want to create a ripple within his camp during this crucial stage of the buildup for the weigh-in.

Right there and then, I knew Ancajas was no longer happy at 115 and that it was high-time that he campaigns at bantam.

Still, his handlers thought there was still something that can be done to remedy the problem.

And I was hoping that Ancajas would resurrect his career by taking a page from one of his earlier exploits.

I was keeping my fingers crossed that Ancajas would revert his old fiery self and reenact his signature beatings of Jamie Conlan and Israel Gonzalez.

Last year, the handwriting was on the wall.

He was kinda fortunate to retain the title when he fought Francisco Rodriguez in Connecticut because the Mexican had him in serious trouble.

Training is not an issue with Ancajas because the guy has a terrific work ethic.

It’s pretty obvious that a drastic move has to be made if Ancajas still wants to become a world champion.

It’s not the end of the world.

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