Jerwin Ancajas refutes claims that he did not want to defend belt in Belfast

After experiencing the Belfast cold he may be wishing his third World title defence was in warmer climes, but Jerwin Ancajas claims he never had any problem coming to Belfast.

The man who will try and disposes him of his IBF super flyweight at the SSE Arena this coming Saturday night, Jamie Conlan [19(11)-0] had previously suggested he took confidence from the fact the Filipino fighter wasn’t initially Conlan or Belfast keen – despite a career-high purse being put on the table.

However, when speaking to in Belfast on Thursday, a well-wrapped up Ancajas [27(18)-1(0)-1] claims he was more than happy to accept ‘The Mexican’s’ challenge.

The fighter, who already has a few stamps on his passport, also claimed Belfast wasn’t a deterrent or an issue.

“I wasn’t involved in negotiations I just focused on the camp. I never said I don’t want to travel or I don’t want to fight abroad. I never told my team that or that I didn’t want to fight Jamie Conlan,” said Ancajas via his translator.

“I am always ready to defend my title and was happy when I learnt I would be fighting a good fighter. When I heard it was here in Belfast I was happy to come here too.”

As per usual ahead of a Conlan fight, things were respectful throughout the build up, but both did take time to land some digs when the chance arose. Indeed, Ancajas tried to imply he was unaware of the Belfast fighter and his career when he was first mentioned as an opponent.

The pair had crossed paths in Australia when the champion successfully defended his title on the Pacquiao-Horn undercard. The challenger’s brother Michael Conlan was on the card and as part of his entourage Jamie bumped into the 25 year old champion a number of times during fight week.

Indeed, the 31 year old revealed he had watched Ancajas in training up close and revealed the pair had exchanged pleasantries on a number of occasions. The polite and even shy title holder has a different view of things and said while he was trying to get pictures with Top Rank’s rising start Michael Conlan he didn’t know who Jamie was.

“Actually we didn’t know who Jamie was at that time in Australia. I have heard now he was there, but we were all just focused on his brother Michael. We just wanted to take pictures with him.”

Ancajas states he is now Jamie Conlan aware and prepared. Having studied the MTK puncher the Manny Pacquiao-promoted fighter he claims he will have too much for the ‘brawler’.

“We have studied Jamie’s style and his fights by watching videos. He is a brawler and we know he wants to fight. If we have to fight him we will. I am prepared to do that, but anything he brings to the table I am prepared for and I can beat him in any type of fight.”

Jamie Conlan’s fights don’t need any selling. Fight fans are well aware that bad blood isn’t a necessity to see a blood and guts effort from the upcoming World title challenger. As a result it was calm before the potential storm at the final press conference on Thursday. No mind games, no trash talk and no verbal sparring ahead of the World title fight- and that’s just the way the champion seems to like it.

“I am not used to trash talk and I never trash talk my opponents. That is not the type of fighter I am. I am here to defend my title and Jamie and I will do our talking in the ring.”



Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years