Ancajas survives tough Mexican foe to keep IBF title

Published April 11, 2021, 1:17 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Jerwin Ancajas lands a left hand to Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez during their match Sunday, April 11, at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Photo from Showtime Boxing)

Filipino boxer Jerwin Ancajas scored a unanimous decision win against Mexican Jonathan Javier Rodriguez to defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

It was the first fight for Ancajan in more than a year, and he showed no rust in the 12-round bout.

The judges scored the fight 115-112, 116-111, and 117-110 all in favor of Ancajas, the Panabo City native who extended his win streak to nine, or since he won the title against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico in January 2017.

“This is the toughest fight for me,” said the 29-year-old Ancajas.

Ancajas improved his ring record to 33 wins with 22 by way of knockout with one loss and two draws.

Rodriguez, meantime, suffered his second defeat that snapped his six-win streak, or since a split decision loss to fellow Mexican Jose Estrada Garcia in March 2018. He has 22 wins, 16 in KOs.

Ancajas, who only arrived in the US last October 2020, was the aggressor until the middle rounds. When the 25-year-old Rodriguez started to connect with his counter punches, the Filipino was able to withstand it with his own combinations and floored the challenger in round eight.

The last time Ancajas fought was when he knocked out Chile’s Miguel Gonzalez in the sixth round back in December 2019 in Mexico. He battled the Chilean when the bout versus Rodriguez in the US didn’t push through.

Next for Ancajas is the possibility of facing Thai superstar Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. The former World Boxing Council super flyweight champion who has won his last three fights for a 50-5-1 record.

Prior to the fight, the camp of Ancajas led by MP Promotions chief Sean Gibbons had said that they would pursue a fight against Rungvisai.

The other options for Ancajas, according to Gibbons, are fights against WBC and WBA super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico and Nicaragua’s Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

Meanwhile, Mark Magsayo impressed when he scored a fourth-round TKO over Pablo Cruz in their featherweight bout.

The pride of Tagbilaran remained undefeated with 22 wins highlighted by 15 KOs.