Tomorrow we'll get the chance to see IBF Super Flyweight champion Fernando Daniel Martinez (14-0, 8) take on the man he beat for the title earlier this year, Filipino Jerwin Ancajas (33-2-2, 22). Today, ahead of their rematch, the two men took part in their weigh in, and both men made the 115lb Super Flyweight limit. In fact they both made weight at an identical 114.75lbs.
On the scales "Pretty Boy" Ancajas looked in good shape, though it did appear that he was perhaps a man who could have done with a move up in weight. His frame has always been big and wiry though it does look like he is maybe struggling to make the weight without it taking a toll on him. He didn't look bad, not by any stretch, but Martinez, looked the more filled out and solid looking fighter.
For Martinez this will be his first defense, and he'll be looking to solidify his reign as the champion, and prove his win over Ancajas earlier this year wasn't a fluke. Notably their was a lot of Argentinian fans at the weigh in and as the men stared down after making weight their was a very loud "Argentina" chant. As for Ancajas this is a chance to recapture the belt he had held from 2016 to earlier this year, when he was widely beaten on points by Martinez.
Related - Repeat or Revenge as Martinez and Ancajas face off again
Later today we'll see IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2, 22) make his 10th world title defense, as he takes on Argentinian challenger Fernando Martinez (13-0, 8). Last night the two men took part in their weigh in for that bout, and both men made the limit with no issues at all.
On the scales both men weighed in at 114.5lbs, comfortably under the 115lb weight limit, and both also looked great at the weigh in.
Despite both coming in at the same weight it is worth noting the two men are very, very different physically. On the scales Martinez looked looked like he was carves out of muscle, and he looked like one of the most physically strong fighters in the division. Ancajas on the other hand looked lean, and was the notably taller man.
It should be noted that Ancajas was clearly seen drinking a lot after making weight.
Whilst they were different, there was also some things in common and both looked confident and seemed full of respect for the other man.
Related - IBF King Ancajas battles Martinez (preview)
Last night in Mexico we saw an IBF Super Flyweight eliminator as unbeaten Filipino Jade Bornea (17-0, 11) faced off with Italian based Moroccan fighter Mohammed Obbadi (22-2, 13). Going in both men were looking to secure themselves a shot at IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas, who will be defending his title in February, and it was clear that this was a major bout for both men, who had a lot of respect for each other.
The opening round started slowly, but heated up really nice in the last minute or so, with both fighters picking up their pace at about the same time. When that happened Bonrea became the stalker, whilst Obbadi showed some lovely movement, quick hands and good straight shots. The final minute of the round really was something very exciting, and saw both have some really good moments. Through the round the best single shots seemed to come from Bornea, but Obbadi had good success with his volume and it was probably his output that shaded what ended up being a really good round.
The second round started much like the first round had ended, with the major difference being that Bornea was fighting the second as a southpaw, and landed one or two gorgeous shots from the lefty stance, including a brilliant straight left hand. It was another really good round, but it was clear that Obbadi had tasted Bornea's power and wasn't really wanting to taste it too often, keeping range more and touching Bornea at range. It was a really nice round from both fighters, though again the heavier, more telling shots were from Bornea, with those shots just edging him the round.
In round 3 Bornea continued as a southpaw, and it seemed like he was very confident at the start of the round. He seemed to hurt Obbadi with a brilliant body shot early on, and although Obbadi seemed to recover it was clear Bornea had smelled blood, and went the body several times through the round, landing some shots that were thrown with the intention of taking the wind out of Obbadi's sails and his footwork. The pressure from Bornea seemed to intensify and Obbadi seemed to be doing all he could to survive. Soon afterwards a headshot hurt Obbadi, and a body shot sent him down for the count.
Notably at the end Obbadi's left eye was a complete mess, it appeared the right hooks from Borena had really damaged his face whilst the body shots had taken the fight out of him.
For Bornea this is, by far, the most notable win of his carer, and whilst he might have to wait for a world title fight, he showed what he could do here and put in a very solid performance. As for Obbadi, this is a set back, but there's a lot for him to work with, and there's a good chance he will find himself back in the mix in the future. Sadly for him however this was a second stoppage loss, and there will be question marks about his toughness, durability and heart.
Yesterday Philstar Global, a Filipino news website, reported that IBF Super Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2, 22) was looking to return to the ring for his 10th defense on February 5th. No only that but the site also reports that his potential opponent for the bout would be unbeaten Argentinian Fernando Daniel Martinez (13-0, 8), with the bout being eyed for a venue in the US.
Ancajas, who has held the IBF title September 2016, has regularly faced criticism for his competition, in what is one of the most packed division's in the sport. Sadly this bout won't do much to quell those complaints, despite the fact Martinez is a very, very capable fighter. In fact if anything it seems to feel very much like another typical defense for a man who has yet to defend against a top divisional fighter.
As for Martinez he was a very solid amateur, competed in the AIBA WSB and has been a professional since 2017. To date he lacks a stand out win, though did win the WBC "silver" title in 2019, when he stopped Athenkosi Dumezweni in South Africa. That win aside there's nothing much to talk about on his record.
Whilst it's easy to complain about this bout, and we'll admit we're not fans of it, it does need noting that Ancajas had originally been scheduled to face WBO champion Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15) [井岡一翔] on New Year's eve, before Japan shut it's borders to fight off the threat of the Omicron variant. With that in mind it's understandable for Ancajas to face a lesser foe with the hope of getting the Ioka bout re-arranged for the summer.
Earlier this month we reported the unfortunate news that the New Year's Eve Super Flyweight world title unification bout between WBO champion Kazuto Ioka (27-2, 15) [井岡一翔] and IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2, 22) was off, due to the Japanese response to the Omicron variant of Covid19, which lead to the country essentially closing it's borders.
Whilst it was disappointing to see that bout cancelled, it has now been confirmed that Ioka will still be in action at the end of the year, as he defends his title against fellow Japanese fighter, and former triple crown champion, Ryoji Fukunaga (15-4, 14) [福永亮次], who is stepping up in class, in a huge way.
For Ioka the bout seems to be a case of staying busy, giving fans something to enjoy before the year is over, and not letting inactivity set in, especially given the Ancajas could still place in the first half of 2022. It's in, many ways, a case of fighting against Fukunaga is better than not fighting at all, even if the bout is a massive, and we mean massive, downgrade from what had been planned for him. It also saves us something to look forward to at the end of the year, something that didn't seem likely just 2 weeks ago.
As for Fukunaga the bout is his biggest, by far. He has managed to do a lot in his career, winning the Rookie of the Year in 2016, and unifying the JBC, OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles. Along the way he head beaten Froilan Saludar, Kenta Nakagawa and Hayate Kaji, with the bout against Kaji being his most recent and his most controversial with many feeling he got a gift. In the ring he's heavy handed, tough, and aggressive, but can be out boxed, as we saw against Kaji. At the age of 35 this is likely to be his only world title fight, but it's fair to say he will put everything into it, knowing he has nothing to lose.
The bout is set to be televised on TBS from 6:30PM local time, and is one of just 4 bouts set for the show in general, with the others being fought off TV.
For those who haven't seen Fukunaga before, his bout with Froilan Saludar can be seen below.
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