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Ancajas delivers in style, KOs foe


PhilBoxing.com




CORPUS CHRISTI. IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas may not be the next Manny Pacquiao but from the way he demolished Mexican challenger Israel Gonzalez at the American Bank Center here Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila) with patient precision, the southpaw is living up to expectations of following in the ring icon’s footsteps.

Ancajas, 26, set the tone early when he landed a vicious counter left hook to the jaw that sent Gonzalez down for a mandatory eight-count 55 seconds into the first round. But Gonzalez, 21, fought back courageously, trying to bait Ancajas to brawl so he could counter. Ancajas wouldn’t bite and when Gonzalez realized it was an exercise of futility, the Mexican went on survival mode.

Ancajas ended the massacre at 1:50 of the 10th round as referee Rafael Ramos waved it off after a rubbery-legged Gonzalez fell from a left hook to the head. Gonzalez was decked by a left straight to the face about 20 seconds earlier. The Mexican sat on the canvas, exhausted, hurt and frustrated, for about a minute after the stoppage and Ancajas knelt beside him in a classy gesture of sportsmanship.

“I wanted to show him respect as a fellow fighter,” said Ancajas in Pilipino. “Even though he lost, I wanted to boost his morale. I told him sorry but he’s still young. He has a lot more fights to go, a lot more title shots.” Ancajas’ consoling act drew widespread positive reaction from media and Gonzalez’ fans.

Ancajas had a field day landing 1-2 combinations, first with a right jab to the midsection then with a left straight to the head. His trainer Joven Jimenez initially planned to use 1-2-3-4 combinations but backtracked when Gonzalez looked dangerous as a counterpuncher. Instead, Ancajas strung two punches together then took a step back to throw Gonzalez off-balance. The trick worked like a charm. Gonzalez never found his distance, winged away aimlessly and was a sucker for Ancajas’ blows. Ancajas kept Gonzalez guessing throughout the bout, alternating leads of right jabs to the head or body and left straights upstairs. Gonzalez couldn’t figure out where Ancajas’ punches were coming from.

The three judges didn’t score a round for the Mexican as Lisa Giampa of Las Vegas, Joel Elizondo of San Antonio and Fernando Villareal of Oak Hill, California, had it 90-80 entering the 10th round. The Compubox stats showed a wide margin as Ancajas connected on 130 of 477 total punches for 27 percent compared to Gonzalez’ 48 of 303 for 16 percent. Ancajas landed more power shots, 84 of 231 for 36 percent compared to Gonzalez’ 46 of 202 for 19 percent. The Filipino had an overwhelming edge in jabs, 46-2.

Ancajas said he saw fear in Gonzalez’ eyes from the second round. “He lost his confidence after the first knockdown,” said Ancajas. “But I didn’t want to rush him. That’s what he wanted me to do so he could counter. I waited for him to get tired. When I got my distance and timing, I went for the knockout.”

Gonzalez stormed out of his corner in the fifth round and turned aggressive as if going for broke. Ancajas easily weathered the surge, displaying head movement to avoid punches and by the end of the round, it was Gonzalez on the retreat. Gonzalez was warned for a low blow in the seventh round and near the bell, got caught with a vicious right hook. Ancajas peppered Gonzalez at will in the eighth and in the ninth, the Mexican hardly threw a punch, showing signs of exhaustion. The curtains fell on Gonzalez in the next round.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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