Peter Wells looks ahead to Jerwin Ancajas vs Jamie Conlan world title fight this weekend, with in depth preview and prediction.
Irish boxing – both North and South of the border – continues to thrive on the world stage, and on Saturday night one of the duo of Conlan brothers as well as Northern Ireland’s current favourite boxing son take the stage in Belfast.
Jamie Conlan 19-0(11KO’s) steps in to his first world title challenge, while the vastly more experienced Carl Frampton seeks to keep busy with new promoter Frank Warren.
While the latter may be hogging the headlines on BT Sport’s broadcast, it is the younger Conlan who is drawing the attention of world boxing, as he looks to stake his claim in arguably boxing’s hottest division.
His rival comes in as the lesser of the four world champions, but Jerwin Ancajas 27-1-1(18KO’s) will hold no fear of losing his IBF Super Flyweight title in his 3rd defence.
McJoe Arroyo risked his title initially in the Filipino’s backyard, and ultimately paid the price. Could the new champion be about to do exactly the same as he travels to the challenger’s den?
For Conlan, this is a step up in competition, but has certainly faced adversity that should hold him in good stead. 19 fights into his pro career, and the likeable Conlan has endured more than a few facial scars that he has persevered with to record victories.
Saturday night may prove no different for the Belfast man as he should be forced to dig deep over 12 gruelling rounds.
Conlan has not made previous international contests easy, and that could prove pivotal against an opponent that has toughness in abundance, to go along a high work rate and quick fists.
In such a stacked division, one feels that Conlan would have benefited from a little more time developing. And while Ancajas may not be the most frightening of world title holders, he is still at a level that Conlan has not yet been.
Opponents like former champion Arroyo or Francisco Rodriguez Jr would have held him in better stead to take on this challenge in 6-12 months’ time. The gamble may pay off, but the cards dealt seem to lean towards the current champion.
Conlan will learn plenty from his experience in with Ancajas, but it will not be the coronation that the thousands in attendance will have turned out for.
The 25-year old champion will start fast, meeting Conlan head on in a furious start that leaves viewers gasping at how the pair can keep such a pace.
Conlan may lead at the halfway stage, but it is from there that the visitor will begin to move with greater effectiveness, forcing Conlan to often overreach with his punches.
Ancajas can counter his way to a late lead. Conlan will refuse to give in as he is roared to the finish line by a feverish crowd. But will come out on the wrong end of a narrow unanimous decision.
Horacio Garcia 33-3-1(24KO’s) has mixed with many good names over his career, but his best bet on Saturday night is to maintain his record of never being stopped.
The Mexican avenged a shock defeat to Diuhl Olguin last time out, but will be on the wrong end of a one-sided comeback for Frampton 23-1(14KO’s).
Frampton’s class will prevail as he runs out a late stoppage winner in this 10 round contest.
The talented Zolani Tete 25-3(20KO’s) should have far too much for the inexperienced Siboniso Gonya 11-1(5KO’s). The WBO Bantamweight title holder can tear through his fellow South African inside 8 rounds.
Photo credit (YouTube: IFLTV)