by Nick Giongco
STOCKTON, California – Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum was ecstatic the day after Jerwin Ancajas put on a show of force against Japanese mandatory challenger Ryuichi Funai before more than 10,000 fans at the Stockton Arena.
“I am very pleased,” Arum told the Bulletin on Sunday from his Las Vegas home, images of Ancajas seventh-round stoppage of the game and gutsy Funai still fresh in the 87-year-old’s mind.
“It was a performance we expected from him against that type of an opponent…crisp-punching,” said the Top Rank chief, who didn’t hide his disappointment over the last time he saw Ancajas in action.
Last September, Ancajas struggled against an offbeat Mexican Alejandro Santiago, who forced the Filipino southpaw to a draw after 12 rounds in Oakland.
But following Ancajas’ total domination of Funai, whose kamikaze style earned the ire of the entire Ancajas team, Arum could not help but marvel at the Filipino southpaw’s resurgence.
“Jerwin can become a big attraction,” said Arum, stressing that he will work for a fight to be made the soonest.
“I will bring him back (to action) fairly quick,” said Arum as he targeted the month of September as the likely date for the eighth defense against unbeaten Andrew Moloney of Australia.
Told about Arum’s plans, the major players of Team Ancajas welcomed the news.
“September is perfect,” said Ancajas lead trainer Joven Jimenez.
Sean Gibbons, the US representative of Ancajas, echoed the same thing, adding that it’ll be an opportunity to earn more.
But the loudest voice came from Ancajas himself, who started drooling over the prospects of battling the rugged Moloney, who packs a 19-0 record with 12 KOs.
“Fighter talaga, suntok ng suntok (He’s really a fighter and loves to throw lots of punches),” said Ancajas, who upped his own mark to 31-1-2 with 21 KOs following Funai’s demolition.
Meanwhile, Ancajas will spend the next week in Los Angeles and Las Vegas before flying back to Manila on May 14.
“Relax muna tayo (We’ll relax),” said Ancajas, whose stock took a meteoric rise following the victory.