Ancajas trains with marines

Jerwin Ancajas
Jerwin Ancajas

by Nick Giongco

TERNATE, Cavite – Jerwin Ancajas, a reservist in the Philippine Navy, is getting help from his big brothers in the Philippine Marines to get ready for the mandatory defense of his world title on May 4 in the US.

On Tuesday afternoon at the Marine Barracks Gregorio Lim, a secluded forested area 75 kilometers from Manila, Ancajas hosted an open media workout to show his readiness to repulse the challenge of Japanese Ryuichi Funai in Stockton, California.

Ancajas swears that the Marine life rubbed off easily that he expressed his eagerness to retain the International Boxing Federation (IBF) 115-lb crown.

“Sa ngayon mga 90 percent na ako,” said Ancajas before working out on a makeshift gym that features a punching bag that hangs from a duhat tree.

“Maganda ang ensayo namin dito. Lahat nagawa na namin.”

The base, one of just four outside Metro Manila, has been Ancajas’ home the last four weeks and its laidback atmosphere and military setting could be what is needed to bring back the gung ho attitude in the Filipino southpaw.

After four sensational defense, Ancajas fell flat in his fifth and sixth and Sean Gibbons, who serves as his agent and oftentimes adviser, feels enthusiastic as well with the major change in camp.

“A little tweak here and there sometimes makes the difference,” said Gibbons, who tagged along his wife Valerie and their son Sean from Manila.

Lead trainer Joven Jimenez echoes Gibbons’ sentiments, saying their experience training in a new setting and unique environment looks promising.

“No distractions here. All training,” said Jimenez, who was compelled to leave their homebase of Magallanes to put a military touch to Ancajas’ preparation.

Ancajas’ stint inside the highly-fortified facility was made possible by Col. Manuel Bundang upon the approval of Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, Flag Officer of the Philippine Navy.

Bundang said that Ancajas, who had won the IBF 115-lb crown in Sept. 2016, was even tougher than most of the Marines who have called the remote beach resort as home for years.

“He tried to train like a Marine and it was clear that he was strong and trained like a Marine,” said Bundang.

Also chipping in to Ancajas’ training camp is nutritionist Jeaneth Aro, who is closely monitoring the Filipino fighter’s food intake even when she is not around.

“When Jerwin goes out of training camp, I make sure that he follows the diet program,” said Aro, wife of Philippine Olympic Committee General Manager Art Aro.

Team Ancajas leaves for San Francisco on April 23 with every member imbibing the Marine motto by heart: Karangalan (Honor), Katungkulan (Duty), Kabayanihan (Valor).

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Written by Tempo Online

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