Ancajas stops yet another challenger
He lacks the swashbuckling moves of Filipino ring legend Manny Pacquiao, but Jerwin Ancajas certainly packs the same devastating power that now enshrines him as one of the world’s toughest fighters in the 115-pound division.
With two shots coming from his left hand, the 26-year-old Ancajas retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title by stopping Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez in the 10th round of their title bout in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Sunday.
It was the fourth straight abbreviated victory for Ancajas since wresting the crown from McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico in Taguig by unanimous decision in 2016. Born in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, but now a Cavite City resident, Ancajas scored his 20th knockout triumph in a 29-win, 1-loss, 1-draw record.
The southpaw Ancajas needed seven rounds in stopping Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico in his first defense on Jan. 29 last year. He matched that seventh-round stoppage against Japanese challenger Teiru Kinoshita on July 2 in the undercard of the Pacquiao-Jeff Horn world welterweight title bout in Brisbane before going six rounds against Jamie Conlan of the United Kingdom in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Nov. 11.
After a flash knockdown of Gonzalez in the first round, Ancajas patiently worked on softening up his rival in a manner so unlike Pacquiao, who became an eight-time world champion with his go-for-broke style. The Mexican finally mixed it up in the 10th only to be felled by a crushing left to the face. After the mandatory eight-count, Ancajas again dumped Gonzalez down to the seat of his pants with a left straight and the referee waved the fight off with a minute and 50 seconds left.
Ancajas later said he wanted to unify the division with future fights against the reigning champions of the WBA, WBC and WBO, but a lot would depend on Bob Arum of Top Rank, who had arranged his first bout in the US as part of a two-year contract.
Just as impressive as Ancajas’ victory was the masterful conquest the NLEX Warriors pulled off over the heavily favored Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations on Saturday.
Led by veterans Cyrus Baguio, Larry Fonacier and JR Quiñahan, the Warriors ended a four-game slump with an 81-78 decision of the Gin Kings, who were again reinforced by seven-footer Greg Slaughter in their first game since inflicting a first loss on the defending champion San Miguel Beermen last week.
Slaughter actually helped doom Ginebra by missing a free throw that could have tied the game at 79 with 5.6 seconds left.
Fonacier and Kiefer Ravena each made a free throw later for the final count.
The loss left Ginebra tied for 6th to 9th spots at 3-4 with NLEX, Phoenix and GlobalPort.
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