2017-Jerwin Ancajas retains IBF title
On this day in 2017 Filipino fighter Jerwin Ancajas made his first defense of the IBF Super Flyweight title, stopping limited Mexican challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in the 7th round.
Ancajas had won the title the previous September, defeating McJoe Arroyo in what was a pretty notable upset at the time. His first defense was the typical easy first defense as he took on a limited opponent who was selected to make him look good. Rodriguez was too small, too slow, and too clumsy to be any sort of a test for Ancajas, who broke him down. Given that Rodriguez had been stopped in 6 rounds by Kazuto Ioka in 2012, and had done nothing since to deserve a world title show, this really was seen as a poor defense.
Following his Rodriguez would go on to los his following 3 bouts, and he now has a record of 32-8 (19). Ancajas has notched up 5 more defenses since this bout, but has started to look like he's going stale as a champion, and needs bigger tests. With a record of 30-1-2 (20) Ancajas is a fantastic fighter but hasn't shown what he can do recently, and that's a shame.
2005-Pongsaklek Wonjongkam defeats Noriyuki Komatsu
When we talk about modern Thai greats there are few that rival Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, who had a tremendous, though often under-played, career. Between his debut in 1994 and his bizarre 2018 comeback, the less said about that the better, he would fight in over 20 world title bouts, and essentially have a 1-man monopoly on the WBC Flyweight title for a decade!
Wonjongkam's 11th defense of the title came on this day, in 2005, when he stopped Japanese challenger Noriyuki Komatsu in 5 rounds. Komatsu had been a long reigning OPBF champion, holding the OPBF title from September 2002, when he beat JungOh Son, to this fight with Wonjongkam, scoring 6 defenses. Wonjongkam on the other hand had won the WBC title in March 2001 and showed the difference between world class and Oriental class, as he dropped the challenger in round 2, and finished the bout in round 5.
Following this bout Komatsu would reclaim the Oriental title and fight through until 2009, when he was stopped inside a round by Ratanapol Sor Vorapin, then he'd retire, with a record of 24-4-4 (10). As for Wonjongkam he would go on to have a legendary career, running up a 91-5-2 (47) record, making a strange comeback in 2018 to have a second bout with Koki Kameda, in what was only sanctioned as an exhibition. His career would be something amazing, and it could be a long time until we see someone else have such a long career and established career in one of the lower weights.
1967-Vicente Saldivar vs Mitsunori Seki II
In August 1966 Japan's Mitsunori Seki challenged Featherweight great Vicente Saldivar. Although he lost Seki did run the Mexican close in a bout that was much more competitive than many would have anticipated, and actually saw Saldivar being dropped. On this day in 1967 they would have their rematch.
After putting in such a great effort in their first bout Seki would, unfortunately, lose in 7 rounds to Saldivar in their rematch. This wasn't the performance that Seki would want.
Saldivar, who really is an all time great at Featherweight, would hold the title until 1970, when he was upset by Kuniaki Shibata. He would fight only twice more after that before retiring in the early 1970's with a record of 37-3 (26). Seki on the other hand would fight for just over another year, winning 6 bouts before losing to Howard Winston in early 1968, and then retiring. He would have a record of 61-11-1 (35) when he hung them up.