by Nick Giongco
STOCKTON, California – World champion Jerwin Ancajas knows exactly what he is up against Saturday night.
Ancajas (30-1-2 with 20 KOs) feels that Japanese mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai (31-7 with 22 KOs) is someone not to be messed with even though he is the prohibitive favorite going into their scheduled 12-rounder at the Stockton Arena.
From what he has seen of Funai, 33, on videos, the challenger loves to bang and targets not only the head and is adept is going downstairs as well.
“Nakatayo lang, diretso pero pumapasok (He stands upright but likes to get inside),” Ancajas told a pair of Manila-based scribes during a break from training in his rented house on the other side of this city that was once home to the biggest population of Filipinos in America.
Funai’s fights with former world champion Shinsuke Yamanaka and against a Filipino were the fights Ancajas viewed on Youtube.
“Mataas ang experience (He’s got a lot of experience),” added Ancajas, whose date with Funai will be the seventh defense of the IBF crown he won in Sept. 2016.
“Mabigat na laban ito (This is going to be a tough fight),” added the Filipino southpaw.
Funai arrived here Sunday afternoon after leaving Tokyo’ Haneda Airport for Sacramento, where his team landed and kicked off the 40-minute drive.