IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is set to leave for the United States on Wednesday to resume training for a possible fight in the final quarter of the year.
Ancajas will head to Los Angeles alongside trainer Joven Jimenez and Tokyo Olympics-bound and recently-turned pro Eumir Felix Marcial after encountering delays in securing their US visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum and later in a virtual sendoff organized by Big Boss Cement that he hopes to see Ancajas secure a fight before the year’s end despite the stacked schedule of Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.
“He’s just coming over here to train and prepare and hopefully we can get him a fight by the end of the year,” said Gibbons.
“The pandemic really set Jerwin back. We had some issues with his visa which we resolved. He has now. He lost his fight date. So at the moment, Top Rank doesn’t have any dates but we’re working on some stuff.”
Ancajas could face IBF mandatory challenger Jonathan Rodriguez, who was supposed to fight the Filipino late last year in Carson, California.
But the fight was cancelled after Rodriguez failed to secure a visa to come to the US.
Ancajas, instead, faced Puerto Rican Miguel Gonzalez and won via a sixth round TKO in early-December in Puebla, Mexico.
The two were supposed to finally slug it off last April 11 in Las Vegas but was postponed due to the coronavirus.
“The key is to get him in the US and sort things out from there,” said Gibbons.
Marcial, on the other hand, will train under Manny Pacquiao’s long-time trainer Freddie Roach at the Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Gibbons said the primary focus is for Marcial to prepare himself for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Ancajas and Marcial have done limited training since the pandemic forced the government to impose community quarantine regulations.