Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2, 23 KOs) is familiar with boxing on the road, having not fought in his home country of the Philippines since 2016. 

It was then when Ancajas clinched the IBF world super-flyweight championship against McJoe Arroyo and began a globe-trotting period in defense of his IBF title.  

Ancajas has enjoyed successful nights in Macau, Britain, Australia and most prominently, the United States since his successful night at the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corps, Taguig City in his homeland. 

Ancajas’s reign as IBF champion ended in 2022 against Fernando Martinez, losing a unanimous decision in February of that year. The pair rematched that October, which saw Martinez repeat the feat. 

Ancajas’s homeland remains one of the more impoverished nations in the Asian Pacific region per GDP, which has seen many a Filipino fighter seek riches further afield. 

Ancajas has walked the path marked by Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Donnie Nietes in securing their place in history if not necessarily their financial future for some who take those steps. 

Currently, no fighters from the Philippines hold any version of a world title, but Ancajascan change that if he defeats WBA world bantamweight champion Takuma Inoue (18-1, 4KOs). 

Ancajas believes he has to be dominant against Inoue, claiming he will already know if he is ahead or behind at any point in the fight. 

“When I fight, I do not think [about hometown decisions]. As a boxer, I just show my best in the ring,” Ancajas said.

“I want to convince [the judges] every round that I am ahead, especially when I am the visiting opponent. I have to be dominant every round, and as a boxer, I know when I am ahead or not.”

Joven Jimenez, Ancajas’s trainer, was blunter in his thesis.

“We are used to fighting anywhere,” Jimenez said. “When we are visitors, it is kill or be killed. 

“We just fight and [do] not think about [hometown decisions]. We focus on our fight and our game plan.”

Despite Ancajas fighting away, the fighter hopes to restore some national pride in boxing and become a world champion once again following Marlon Tapales’s round defeat to Nayoa Inoue on December 26 in a failed bid to become undisputed super-bantamweight champion as well as losing his unified IBF and WBA titles in the process. 

“I will work hard to get another world title for the Philippines,” said Ancajas. “Especially now that we do not have a world champion. I want us to have a world champion early this year.”.