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.