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Jamie Conlan questions confidence of champion Jerwin Ancajas

Jerwin Ancajas [27(18)-1(0)-1] is the world champion in name but not necessarily in behaviour and confidence suggests Jamie Conlan.

‘The Mexican’ admits the reigning IBF super flyweight champion will be the best he has ever faced and is adamant he will need to go above and beyond to dethrone him when they trade leather for the title on November 18th.

However, the fighter who is fan friendly both in and out of the ring seems to have taken confidence from the fact the Filipino and his team are not Belfast keen.

Not long after the World title fight was officially announced, Conlan [19(11)-0] was revealing it took a lot of persuading and nigh on two months of negotiations to get the champion to put his title on the line in Belfast at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

According to the man with his sights set on becoming lord of the super flys, Team Ancajas were reluctant to accept a rather generous offer to visit the famous fight city and came up with the kind of demands a confident champion wouldn’t.

Indeed, the South East Asian wanted to instead fight a different opponent on the mooted Pacquiao-Horn rematch card in Australia.

“In the negotiations it was clear he didn’t want to come here. It didn’t want to fight here. He wanted to fight on Manny Pacquiao’s undercard in Australia, but when that fight fell through we took it from there,” explained Conlan.

“He didn’t want to come here. He really didn’t for some reason. They were asking for rematch clauses and lots of extras. So they are not as confident as world champion should be. They have worries.”

The fight capital of Ireland is a daunting place for any away fighter to visit. The partisan Belfast fight fraternity are renowned as not only some of the most knowledgeable fans in the game, but also the most boisterous and threfore intimidating.

No doubt Ancajas would have preferred a clash on neutral ground Down Under, perhaps feeling the Belfast fight fans may just make home advantage a massive advantage for Conlan.

The home fighter – who felt the power of the crowd as they all but lifted him off the floor during his war with Junior Granados in Dublin back in July 2015 – claims the support can’t win him the fight, but does believe they will have a small part to play over the 12 rounds.

“It’s two fighters in the ring throwing punches, but the crowd will play a part,” outlined the 30 year old.

“He is a nice guy and everything about him is nice, but when you come to Belfast it’s not an easy place to be an away fighter. The crowd will get on him a bit and take him out of his comfort zone and they will add a little to me. It will also add a wee bit of confidence to me to see him react to these fans that really get behind their own.”

frayne carpentry

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie