Philippines, 29 May 2024
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Had lack of scouting, wrong strategy did Ancajas in?

Filipino reigning International Boxing Federation super-flyweight titlist Jerwin Ancajas is torn between a rematch with Mexican Alejandro Santiago, who forced him into a split-draw Friday night in Oakland, CA (Saturday morning in Manila) or seek bigger names to prove he?s greater than what he?d shown in his last two outings.

With the goal of uniting the 115-pound division, the Filipino, a Cleveland Cavaliers fan, came to Golden State Warriors territory only to earn the nod of one of the three judges with the other seeing his opponent the winner and the other voting even.

Being the defending champion, Ancajas kept his title but is at a loss as what his next move will be except to express his desire to return home to see his daughter Jacey Kiera, who was born three days before he flew to the U.S. where he was to end preparations for the 12-round date With his challenger.

If American matchmaker Sean Gibbons will have his way, he would prefer more combative opponents like Thai Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada against whom, he said, would give his pupil a better opportunity to get his offense going.

Assessing the fight, Gibbons said Ancajas was more interested in pressing the fight while Santiago just tried to "steal" the fight by throwing punches in spurts.

"We're still focused on the big fights, to unify," Gibbons asserted. "I can't pin it down to one thing, It still go back to styles. I still think Jerwin can look impressive against the right guy."

The Filipino champ, for his part, said he?s agreeable to a rematch, adding, "I'm ready to fight Estrada or Sor Rungvisai. Different boxers, different opponents, different styles,"

"Yeah, maybe a rematch is good so I could prove I can defeat Santiago,? he told media men during post-fight interview in his dressing room.

"All I'm grateful for is the belt is still with me. Whether I just got a draw with Santiago, the bottom line is I'm still the champion," Ancajas skid.

Ancajas admitted lack of scouting could be the cause of is poor performance, adding it was he who was surprised by Santiago?s showing. ?Although I didn?t feel Santiago?s power, he showed mobility which we didn?t see in their video review of his previous fight.

"I was surprised by his change of style because we were studying and reviewing his past fight videos. He really played different from how he fought before," he admitted.

I had a hard time getting the right timing to get the knockout because I really have a hard time fighting against shorter opponents."

Chief trainer Joven Jimenez admitted, too, they came out seeking the knockout instead of working to set it up, but still thought Ancajas? aggressiveness, especially in the final two rounds, were enough to earn his boy a seven rounds to five decision.

"We're surprised because when we saw in his previous fights, he's slow. But he improved, his punches were short, his timing was there," said Jimenez.

Santiago said Ancajas' camp overlooked him because of his underwhelming record. Though he feels he won the fight he still respected his opponent.

"He (Ancajas) was a little too tentative," promoter, Bob Arum, onth other hand, assessed. "We're gonna do a rematch with them."

Asked whether the possibility of doing fights with Sor Rungvisai and Juan Francisco Estrada, remains, Arum only said "we'll see."

Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.

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