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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Ancajas denies holding back

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
30 May 2018



IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas said yesterday he didn’t pull his punches against countryman Jonas Sultan and settled for a win on points in retaining his crown at the Save Mart Center in Fresno over the weekend because going for a knockout was a risky proposition.

“Sultan was unpredictable,” said Ancajas in Pilipino. “Coach Joven (Jimenez) told me to stay away from his head. It’s not that I didn’t look for a knockout. Sultan’s style is difficult to break down and he kept changing tactics. Sultan has power so I was careful not to get hit by a wild shot.”

A butt on Ancajas’ jaw jarred him midway the fight and later produced a large swelling on the opposite side of his face. Ancajas admitted he was buzzed by the impact. There was also a bulge on his forehead because of butts and a day later, the swelling went down to his eyes. It was Sultan’s plan to disrupt Ancajas’ rhythm with his unorthodox tactics. Ancajas, however, kept his poise but avoided engaging.

Former WBC lightflyweight champion Rodel Mayol, who watched the fight at ringside, said Sultan isn’t an easy opponent because of his awkward style. “His fight plan was to pressure,” said Mayol. “He adjusted in the middle rounds and tried to do different things to confuse Jerwin. He wanted to trade straights. But Jerwin is too skilled and experienced.” Compubox stats showed that Ancajas landed 234 of 773 punches for a 30.3 percent connection rate compared to Sultan’s 130 of 555 or 23.4 percent. Ancajas wasn’t only more active but also more accurate.

Mayol said Ancajas is now at his peak in the 115-pound division. “By next year, I expect Jerwin to move up to 118,” he said. “He can eventually fight at 122 but maybe 126 will be too big for him.”

Jimenez said Ancajas will take a break of one month before returning to the gym. “Jerwin needs to rest,” he said. “I think (international matchmaker) Sean (Gibbons) and Top Rank plan to arrange two more fights for Jerwin this year. We’re open to anyone. If it’s a unification fight against (WBA champion Khalid) Yafai in England, we’ll do it. We went to Belfast to fight (Jamie) Conlan so fighting in the UK is no problem.”

Gibbons said he’s not excited about a bout against Yafai who stopped Mexico’s David Carmona in the Ancajas-Sultan undercard. “Yafai’s a spoiler,” he said. “I prefer Jerwin to fight (Sirsaket Sor) Rugvisai or (Juan Francisco) Estrada or some of the other big names in the division. Mr. Bob (Arum) knows best when it comes to putting big fights together.”


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