Ancajas stakes belt vs Mexican challenger

Published April 10, 2021, 4:15 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from SHOWTIME Boxing’s Twitter

IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas is not only fighting for recognition but also to prove that there’s no rust in his punching prowess.

Coming from more than a year of hiatus, Ancajas will put his belt on the line against Mexican foe Jonathan Rodriguez at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Sunday, April 11, Manila time.

Ancajas, who is the IBF super flyweight titleholder since 2016, has not fought since December 2019 when he beat Miguel Gonzales of Chile to improve his record to 32-1-2 on top of 22 knockouts.

For Ancajas, a win against Rodriguez is one way to reintroduce himself in the 115lb division alongside WBA super champion Juan Francisco Estrada, WBA regular titleholder Joshua Franco of the United States, WBO super flyweight king Kazuto Ioka, and former champions Roman “Chocolatito” Rodriguez of Nicaragua and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand.

Ancajas’ lone defeat came from compatriot Mark Anthony Geraldo way back in 2012. Since then, the 29-year-old boxer hailing from Panabo, Davao del Norte boasts a 19-match win streak.

Rodriguez, for his part, owns a 22-1 record with 16 KOs and rides on six straight wins since June 2018.

The bout, which was originally set on November 2019, has been a long time coming after being postponed several times due to various reasons, the latest when Ancajas was about to secure a US Visa but the country went into lockdown for the first time in March last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This will be Ancajas’ first fight with the Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) under Al Haymon and to be televised by Showtime.

The Filipino boxing champion earlier set sights on Thai superstar Sor Rungvisai should he defend his title belt for the ninth time.

Meanwhile, undefeated Filipino boxer Mark Magsayo (21-0, 14 KOs), fighting for the second time on US soil after a split decision win over Rigoberto Hermosillo in October 2020, will lock horns with American opponent Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6 KOs) in their featherweight clash.