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Ancajas conducts clinic to retain title


PhilBoxing.com




FRESNO. IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas controlled the pace, space and distance in the ring to score a unanimous 12-round decision over gutsy challenger Jonas Sultan in a tactical battle at the Save Mart Center here Saturday night (yesterday morning, Manila).

Las Vegas-based international matchmaker Sean Gibbons said Ancajas put on a clinic in repulsing Sultan whose wild, awkward style prompted the defending titlist to box patiently with precision instead of attacking with impunity. Gibbons described Ancajas “a master technician” in outclassing Sultan even as it meant employing an unexciting strategy to win on points.

Judges Jonathan Davis and Zachery Young saw it 119-109 while judge Danny Sandoval scored it 117-111, all for Ancajas. The three judges had the same score in eight of the 12 rounds. Davis gave the ninth to Sultan and Young, the 10th. ALA Boxing president Michael Aldeguer, who manages Sultan, said Ancajas was the clear winner but thought the fight was closer than what the scorecards indicated.

“Credit to Jerwin,” said Aldeguer. “He’s a great champion with a lot of experience. Jonas has fought less than 20 fights compared to Jerwin who has fought over 30. Jonas will learn from this. I’m proud of what he tried to do. He did his best but Jerwin was just too good tonight. I felt Jonas got three to four rounds. Jonas will get better because of this experience.”

From the onset, Ancajas kept the surging Sultan at bay with his right jab and left straight. Sultan was often wide with his haymakers as he charged in. Ancajas never allowed himself to be bullied into a corner or along the ropes, dictating the action in the middle of the ring. In the fourth round, Ancajas shifted his attack to the body but Sultan proved resilient. Since he couldn’t find the flow to pressure Ancajas, Sultan did something different midway the bout. Instead of coming forward, Sultan stood his ground and waited for Ancajas to initiate so he could counter. For a while, the adjustment appeared to throw off Ancajas. Sultan, however, couldn’t muster momentum to sustain his attack.

In the last two rounds, Ancajas threw caution to the wind and launched a blistering assault that nearly toppled Sultan. Ancajas’ trainer Joven Jimenez later disclosed that he told the champion to pour it on for a strong finish. “I told Jerwin to pace himself in the 10th so he could win the last two rounds convincingly,” said Jimenez.

The crowd started to boo in the middle rounds when it seemed like the fighters were just sparring. Gibbons said it got ugly because of the contrasting styles. “Sultan should’ve put a glove on his head because I think he hit Jerwin more with his head than with his hands,” he said. “I counted at least six headbutts on Jerwin and at the end of the fight, Jerwin’s forehead was swollen. I don’t blame Jerwin for fighting from a distance. Sultan’s style was unorthodox. He leaned in with his head up front. You don’t want to risk getting butted. So Jerwin did what he had to do to win. He piled up points. The crowd wanted a knockout but if Jerwin fought David Carmona instead, he would’ve looked like a million bucks. Carmona was like a heavy bag when he fought (Khalid) Yafai in the undercard. Yafai might have looked impressive against a punching bag like Carmona and Jerwin might not have looked as impressive but you have to consider the styles of their opponents. As Floyd Mayweather always likes to say, a win is a win. And for Jerwin, he got the job done.”


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


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