Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas defeated Mexican Jonathan Rodriguez via unanimous decision to successfully defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight belt for the ninth time on Sunday (Philippine time) at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Despite a 16-month layoff, Ancajas displayed superb boxing prowess to get the scorecards 115-112, 116-111, and 117-110.
“I’m so happy that I defended my title and it was a long time to wait for this opportunity, for this fight,” said Ancajas in the post-fight presser.
“I’m happy I’m in the first fight of the PBC promotion, and I want to thank first God and big boss for cementing our sponsor and my team for this big win for us.”
Ancajas was accurate with his shots, as he peppered Rodriguez with jabs, body blows, and power punches in the 12-round fight.
According to Compubox, Ancajas landed 131 body punches compared to Rodriguez’s 44. The pride of Panabo Davao del Norte also won the jab department, 56 to 20.
Rodriguez, though, landed more power punches than Ancajas, 253-176.
Ancajas, who improved to a 33-1-2 (22 knockouts) record, got off to a strong start as he shook Rodriguez with a left hook at the 1:04 mark of the first round.
That setup Ancajas’ mastery over Rodriguez, who slid to a 22-2 slate (16 KOs), as he kept the Mexican at bay with body blows and timely power punches to win the opening rounds.
The 29-year-old Ancajas then scored a knockdown over the 25-year-old Rodriguez off a left straight to the chin with 20 seconds left in the eighth round, as the Mexican went down in the canvas for the first time in his career.
Rodriguez started to get worn out with the beating he was receiving from the Filipino, but amazingly, mustered the strength to push through and made a case for himself in the last three rounds.
However, it was a little too late for him as Ancajas had done enough to convince the judges in the fight, which was nothing short of action from two incredible fighters.
Ancajas and Rodriguez went on a spree of exchanges that would have blown the roof if there were fans cheering at the stadium.
The two fighters shared a hug while kneeling on the canvass after the bout, showing admiration and respect to each other.
The slugfest was so good that many boxing observers deemed the bout as a potential fight of the year.
“In my nine title defenses, this is the toughest and hardest for me because Jonathan Rodriguez has a big heart and he also trained hard for this fight, for this opportunity, that’s why it’s good for me and for the fans also,” said Ancajas.
Now, Ancajas looks forward to facing the other stars in his division like Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and Juan Estrada.
“I have the opportunity. I want to fight every champion in this division, Estrada, Chocolatito all off the big names in my division, I want the big fight for me.”
Magsayo KOs Cruz
Another Pinoy fighter Mark Magsayo came up victorious in the undercard of Premier Boxing Champions: Ennis vs Lipinets on the same day and venue.
Magsayo crushed American Pablo Cruz with a right straight to score a knockout 48 seconds into the fourth round. With the victory, the 25-year-old Magsayo remained spotless at 22-0 with 15 knockouts.