Jerwin Ancajas was pounding his chest with his gloved fist right after scoring an arduous unanimous decision win over Jonathan Rodriguez on Saturday night (Sunday morning in Manila), not needing to say much after an entertaining and successful ninth defense of his the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight crown.
Ancajas executed a superb game plan and showcased primetime-worthy grit, flooring Rodriguez with a barrage of punches in the eighth round en route to the win.
“This title defense is the most difficult of all,” said the 29-year-old Ancajas in Filipino, as he displayed a most explosive show of force which should command a match against the big three of the weight division.
“I’m satisfied with my performance,” Ancajas added. “I can still show you more. I showed that I can mix it up.”
Ancajas improved to 33-1-2 with 22 knockouts, while Rodriguez, who was never before knocked down, dropped to 22-2 with 16 KOs.
Too bad there wasn’t a live audience at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, although it was beamed by Showtime and shown slightly delayed here.
For Ancajas, it was enough platform for him to show he’s got what it takes to make it to the big stage and take part in mega-buck fights.
And expectedly, Ancajas sounded off a challenge to the likes of Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada and Nicaraguan Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales.
Manny Pacquiao Promotions president Sean Gibbons said next in the agenda is to try to hook up with Rungvisai. But he also quickly acknowledged it may not be that easy.
“If not, then we would look for an opponent, three to four months while waiting for him (Rungvisai),” he said days before the fight.
One thing going against Gibbons’ plan is that all the three fighters are under Matchroom Promotions, while Ancajas is hooked up with Premier Boxing Champions.
That left them one option, which is to fight Japanese four-division champion Kazuto Ioka, a stylish 32-year-old (26-2 with 15 KOs) who has beaten Filipino Aston Palicte, but lost to Donnie Nietes before.
On the same night, another Filipino fighter showed he’s worthy of attention as Mark Magsayo knocked out American Pablo Cruz in the fourth round to remain unbeaten in the featherweight division.
It was Magsayo’s 15th KO to date after 22 pro fights. Cruz fell to 21-4.
It didn’t take long before Ancajas engaged the Mexican in a brawl. But the Filipino followed a specific plan which was to go for body shots.
He connected 131 according to ShoStats, compared to Rodriguez’s 44. That slowed down the Mexican, but failed to discourage him from charging back.
Then in the eighth, with just 10 seconds left, Ancajas pummeled the enemy to send him to the canvas.
Judges Tony Paolillo (115-112), Tom Schreck (116-111) and Don Trella (117-110) all gave the fight to the Filipino. INQ
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