On Friday night in Oakland we saw IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-2, 20) escape with his 6th defense thanks to a fortunate draw against little known Mexican Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2-5, 7).
On paper the bout was a mismatch. The champion had won his last 17, he was in the form of his life, and looked like one of the top fighters at 115lbs whilst Santiago was a relative unknown who had never fought at this level and was taking a notable step up. In reality however it was the challenger who looked the rounded and accomplished fighter.
In the opening round Santiago proved he was not the patsy many had anticipated. Instead he was a smart fighter. Despite the smaller man it was his jab that was landing, and it was he who was controlling the range, totally neutralising the southpaw jab of Ancajas whilst using smart footwork to get in and out. That footwork of Santiago not only worked for him when he was neutralising Ancajas but also when he was letting his own hands go, and after a few rounds he had found the range for his right hand and his left hook. Ancajas on the other hand was often limited to his straight left, which he landed to the body and head.
Many of the rounds were competitive but it always seemed like Santiago was doing enough to take the rounds. He was however leaving the judges an opportunity to give rounds to the slightly busier Ancajas, who's shots were less effective but but seemed to be more consistent. Sadly for Ancajas whilst he was doing more, he was very predictable and looked like a fighter who lacked real fire or a plan B. There no real change in intensity from Ancajas, no change in tactics and at no point did he ever really cut off the ring. Instead he continued the same thing over and over, whilst getting timed by Santiago.
What Santiago really did well was pick up the pace late in rounds, and there was a number of close rounds in which he upped the ante late on and left the lasting impression. It was something that Ancajas could never do, and when he tried to respond he was made to look messy and looked like he was either hurt or flailing at the air.
When we reached the final bell it looked like Santiago had won a clear but competitive bout. He seemed to feel that he'd clearly won as well, celebrating on the corner posts whilst Ancajas looked like a man who knew he hadn't deserved to retain his title. Boxing however does give us some whilst cards, and the first had Ancajas winning 116-112, a bizarre score. The second card had Santiago winning 118-111, another bizarre score but one that seemed to go to the right guy. The deciding had it 114-114 resulting in the draw.
The result really was as good as Ancajas could have got. He kept his title, but got a real scare, and seemingly got very fortunate. His stock has dropped as a result of the draw, despite remaining a champion, and it's clear that he should be guided away from certain fighters in the division. As for Santiago this was a performance that would have put him on the map. It could cause him problems, as he looks a nightmare to fight, but it's the performance that shows he belongs at world level, something few actually expected. The Mexican is unlucky not to be the new champion but will almost certainly get another in the future.
After 93 years with out an all Filipino world title bout we had one late on Saturday, as IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20) recorded his 5th defense and over-come mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan (14-4, 9). Sadly, given the long wait for an all Filipino world title fight, this wasn't a bout that will sit in the memory for long.
The bout saw the more skilled, and crisper, Ancajas boxing well behind his jab early on. There was little from Sultan early on as Ancajas proved to be too quick, too sharp and too naturally long for Sultan. The challenger would, at times, look to sneak inside but would be punished for any real sign of aggression he showed. Ancajas's foot work was brilliant early on, and whilst the intensity of his output was limited the skills on show were impressive ans he landed jabs, solid left hands and went to the body with regularity.
The one sided yet drama free nature of the bout saw the fans quickly turn on the fight, booing the relative lack of action. The boos from the crowd didn't really change the action, which continued to be straight forward for Ancajas until round 8, when Sultan finally managed to have some success, as Ancajas seemed to switch off.
With Sultan knowing he needed to turn it around he put his foot on the gas in round 9, and finally seemed to win a round as Ancajas began to look as bored as the crowd sounded. The champion would also seem to be switched off in round 10, but even then it never seemed like Sultan could have any sustained success, and Ancajas continued to land his jab and move well as he continued to keep the challenger at bay.
The action did manage to heat up in the final two rounds, but by then it was a forgone conclusion and there was no doubting that Ancajas had done enough to take decision, which the judges went on to confirm with 3 wide cards in favour of the champion, who secured his 5th defense.
It seems likely that Ancajas will be eyeing up a unification bout with WBA champion Kal Yafai, who also defended his title on this show, and that fight would be an interesting one, with more action than this all-Filipino one.
It's fair to say that 2017 was a break out year in many ways for Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20. Despite claiming the IBF Super Flyweight title in 2016 he wasn't really able to use the belt as a launchpad until last year, when he went 3-0 (3) and shone. By the end of the year he had Western audiences suggesting he was the new Pacquiao and many saying he was on the verge of becoming a figurehead for the Filipino fight scene.
Today he return to the ring to kick off 2018, and faced off with the previously unbeaten Israel Gonzalez (21-1, 8), in what was Ancajas' 4th defense of the IBF title and his US debut.
The bout started perfectly for the champion who dropped Gonzalez in the opening round from a left hand. It was the ideal start for the Filipino and proof that his power was enough to hut Gonzalez.
Having got off to such a perfect start it could have been expected that Ancajas would close the show early. Gonzalez however was tough, and he took a gradual and sustained beating over the following few rounds. The game Mexican always looked to fight, but was never able to cope with the speed, power, accuracy or consistency of Ancajas, who chipped away, round after round. There was jabs and power shots both connecting at will from the talented Filipino who did as he wished.
In round 10 a left hand dropped Gonzale for the bouts' second knockdown and a third followed soon after, forcing the referee to save the now beaten Mexican from further punishment.
Ancajas is now 4-0 (4) since winning a world title and an excellent 16-0 (15) since his sole loss, back in March 2012. He has proven he is a truly world class boxer, and despite issues with securing big fights he has the potential to be a very long term champion. The performance, technically, was solid, with perhaps only one real complaint being that he was too methodical. There were times when he could have picked up the pace looked for the kill much earlier. Had he done that he could have made a little more of an impression on the audience. But that really is only a minor complaint, and he really did impress, once again.
The bout also raised an interested little bit of trivia, with Ancajas now defending the title in 4 continents. He has now made defenses in Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America, and it would be interesting to see if they could get him a fight either in Africa or in South America next.
It's hard to deny that the Super Flyweight division is one of, if not the, best division in the sport right now, with 4 really good world champions. Today one of those was in action, with the IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 19) travelling to Belfast to face off with the gutsy and brave Jamie Conlan (19-1, 11).
The Filipino world champion was successful as he made his 3rd defense of the title, and did so in impressive fashion, whilst fighting well within himself to defeat the Irishman.
The opening round was mostly quiet, though Conlan was dropped from what appeared to be a delayed reaction to a temple shot, despite the commentary claiming it was an leg injury to Conlan. The shot came whilst Conlan was trying to box with Ancajas, which seemed the wrong tactic, and was one that seemed to frustrate Ancajas more than come close to really testing him.
In round 2 things went from bad to worse for Conlan, who was badly cut over the left eye. For Conlan to be cut was no surprise, but it really was a bad cut and seemed to spur Ancajas to up his pressure, becoming more methodical as he began to break down Conlan. The Irish man's toughness was really being tested, and in round 3 a body shot saw real cracks began as he winced and backed up, opening the door to an assault from Ancajas that sent Conlan down again.
Conlan was really struggling, and looking beaten up, as we entered round 4, though he showed the fighting spirit that has made him such a fan favourite as he looked to fight back. Sadly the more he threw the more opening Ancajas began to find, and a huge assault from Ancajas left us wondering how the challenger was still in their fighting. Despite the attempt to fight he was dropped again at the very end of the round, and took what seemed like a long count as the bell rang.
Ancajas looked like he had hurt Conlan again but was called for a low blow in round 5, and then another attack later in the round sent the challenger down, but a legitimate looking body shot was again called low, resulting in a 1-point deduction for Ancajas. At the time it seemed like the referee was trying to help Conlan, with neither shot looking like much of a low blow but more boderline shots. It was however not helping the challenger, and instead extended his punishment, which continued in to round 6.
Thankfully the punishment was finally stopped when Conlan his the canvas early into round 6. The shot that sent him down looked like a shot just behind the ear, a borderline illegal shot, but it was clear that the referee had finally seen enough and had willingly saved the Irishman from his own toughness and bravery.
For Conlan the loss will sting, but it was clear that he wasn't in the same league as Ancajas, who never looked like he was out of third gear. The loss will harm his stock a little bit, but the reality is that he's so fan friendly that he will always be popular,and a bout against Rex Tso is about as good as the sport can give us. As for Ancajas his name has been linked to that of WBO champion Naoya Inoue, and recent reports from Japan suggest that Inoue Vs Ancajas could take place in February on “Superfly 2”, in what would be an amazing match up and help continue to build interest and attention for the division.
The boxing world focused on Australia on Sunday as Manny Pacquiao battled Jeff Horn in what was widely derided as a horrible mismatch. Whilst that wasn't a great main event the show it's self served as a vehicle to showcase IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1, 18). The talented Filipino, who is promoted by Pacquiao, took on Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita (25-2-1, 8) [位帝里 木下] and took his opportunity to shine, stopping Kinoshita in a 1-sided contest.
The bout started slowly, with neither man really taking any risks. Although it was quiet it was clear that Ancajas was doing more than the challenger.
Having felt his way into the bout Ancajas started to move through the gears, and hammered some sharp left hands into the right side of Kinoshita's face, causing clear visible damage to Kinoshita's right eye in round 2. The damage looked serious, with nasty cuts, but to his credit Kinoshita refused to let it bother him, despite two inspections by the doctors.
Knowing he was behind Kinoshita tried to step up his output in round 3, but was too slow and too clumsy for Ancajas who landed some really sharp shots, continuing to pick away at Kinoshita to both head and body. Having looked sharp as a tack in rounds 2 and 3 Ancajas started to slow down in round 4, giving Kinoshita some opportunities, but it was still the Filipino landing the better blows.
Ancajas showed that he wasn't flagging in round 5, as he landed some of his best stuff, including some hard left hands early on and a beautiful eye catching combination on the bell to seal the round. Those shows were taking their toll on Kinoshita, who was trying and was game, but was totally out classed and had no answer for the champion, even when Ancajas slowed down as he did again at times in round 6, a closer but clear round for the champion.
By the end of round 6 Kinoshita's right eye looked completely shut, and it was clear he was going to have to go all out sooner rather than later. That saw him come out for round 7 with aggressive intent, and he landed a nice flurry, but only moments later a combination from Ancajas, punctuated by a sickening body shot, dropped the Japanese fighter. Kinoshita showed his warrior mentality to regain his feet, but the referee had seen enough and stopped the swollen and beaten challenger.
For most fans in the West this was their first chance to see either man and whilst Kinoshita certainly didn't leave much of an impression it's fair to say that Ancajas will have gotten a lot of new fans from this performance and it's clear that the bout really was a show case for the talented Pinoy puncher.
Last September we saw Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas (26-1-1, 17) claim the IBF Super Flyweight world title with an upset win over McJoe Arroyo. Today the talented Filipino took to the ring for the first time since winning that title, and successfully defended it against tough nosed Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (32-5, 19), and looked sensational as he headlined day of the 2-day CCTV Lunar New Year Event.
On paper the bout looked like a good defense for Ancajas, there was however a sense that the Filipino skillster was facing an opponent that was made to order, with Rodriguez being an aggressively minded, pressure fighter, who gives plenty of openings. That feeling of Rodriguez being the perfect foil for Ancajas proved to be true almost from the off, with Ancajas using Rodriguez's pressure against him from the opening seconds.
The Mexican went on the front foot immediately, trying to give Ancajas some early discomfort. Ancajas showed that he had scouted Rodriguez well and instead of being ruffled by Rodriguez we saw Ancajas land counter shots as will, swithcing between spiteful uppercuts and straight shots up top to whipping in full blooded body shots. Rodriguez, to his credit, knew his strength was in his aggressive style and knew his only way to win would be to take the fight to Ancajas, but the reality was that the Filipino was too sharp and too quick to be out worked or concerned by Rodriguez.
In round 2 Ancajas opened up more, using Rodriguez as a human punch bag at times and putting on a clinic in terms of counters and movement. He was making a decent fighter like Rodriguez look like a straight up up rookie, avoiding most of what was beign thrown his way and landing shot after shot of his own. In fact it wasn't until round 3 that Rodriguez seemed to have any impact on Ancajas, and the little impact he did have in round 3 ended up costing him as the Filipino upped the ante and seemed to hurt the Mexican in return.
Rodrgiuez's aggression then seemed to fade and in rounds 5 and 6 he was showing clear signs of slowing and was actually starting to be forced on to the back foot. As we'd seen against Kazuto Ioka, who Rodriguez had fought a few years ago, the Mexican cannot fight on the back foot and looked totally clueless when ever Ancajas forced him backwards. What was worse for Rodriguez was that he backed up in straight lines and that just allowed Ancajas to follow up and combination with a straight whilst he backed up.
Whilst Ancajas was in total control there was a sense that he was figthign well within himself, preferring to show case his skills rather than hunt a finish. That was particularly notable in round 7, with Rodriguez slowing to a near halt and Ancajas happy to go through the motions. It had a feel of a bout that could get frustrating for fans, until Rodriguez was seen by doctors at the start of round 8, and cited a shoulder issue that eventually forced the bout to be stopped, after some confusing moments from the doctor, the fighter and the referee.
With the win Ancajas has made his first defense of the IBF title, and looked like a sensation at times, and will be lookign to make his second defense later this year. For Rodriguez it's hard to see where he goes, other than the domestic Mexican scene. With Super Flyweight being a rather packed division Ancajas willlikely see hi name linked to numerous other top fighters, including Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonalez, Kal Yafai and Takuma Inoue, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the Filipino in against a notable name by summer.
It's fair to say that Filipino boxing is riding a genuine high at the moment following big wins this year for the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Johnriel Casimero and Marlon Tapales. The latest Filipino to score a major win was Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1, 16) who made the most of his opportunity earlier today and claimed the IBF Super Flyweight title, out pointing the previously unbeaten McJoe Arroyo (17-1, 8).
The fight started quietly with neither man wanting to take many risks, and although Ancajs was coming forward there was little of note from either man. It seemed a smart tactic from both, given that neither has fought this year, but it was clear that the fight wasn't going to remain a slow and cautious bout through out and the one that upped the pace first was going to be the one taking control.
The one that upped the pace was Ancajas who began to move through the gears in the middle rounds, and by the end of round 6 he was beginning to take control over the champion, who looked like a man who had no second gear to move in to. With Ancajas pushing the pace he began to really dominate and gave Arroyo a beating through round 7, 8 and 9, dropping the Puerto Rican for a count in round 8 and being unlucky not to get another knockdown scored in his favour the following round.
The key for Ancajas had been a steady body attack which took the legs and power from Arroyo, leaving him very flat footed and at times a sitting duck to more body shots. Although weary the visitor knew he'd have to do what he could to turn things around in the later rounds and started trudging, heavy legged, towards the challenger looking for a Hail Mary. The tactic was a foolish one from Arroyo, who lacked the footwork or hand speed to connect, and he was left chasing a speedier and fresher fighter who continued to land the eye catching shots.
With the knockdown, and the fact Ancajas was the one to take the initiative, it seemed like the Filipino had been the comfortable winner, and that was reflected on two of the cards, with scores of 118-109 and 117-110 telling the story of the fight, the third card however was far too close at 115-112.
For Ancajas this win is a career changing victory. It's taken him from a man being paid small sums as a fringe contender to a man who will be chased for a big fight either to end the year or in 2017. Given he earned less than $4,000 for this fight, turning down a much larger payday to travel, the gamble has paid off and potential money bouts with the likes of Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonzalez, Luis Concepcion, Kohei Kono, Sho Ishida, Carlos Cuadras or Takuma Inoue are looming.
Arroyo, who had won the title in a questionable manner last year against Arthur Villanueva, sees his reign and unbeaten record end in what was a genuinely poor effort. He proved his toughness and heart but looked very much like a third rate fighter coming up against some one who was hungry and talented.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.