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Ancajas to move up to bantam?


PhilBoxing.com




Former IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas may have outgrown the 115-pound division and will likely move up to the 118-pound bantamweight class for his next fight but the decision is still up in the air with the option to exercise a rematch clause live on the table for the chance to regain the title from Fernando Martinez.

Ancajas lost the crown in his 10th defense to Martinez on a unanimous 12-round decision in Las Vegas last Saturday. Martinez finished with a cut over his left eye, inflicted by an accidental butt in the fourth round while Ancajas’ right eye was nearly swollen shut and his right ear was puffed. Both underwent tests at the UMC medical trauma center after the contest.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons dismissed speculation that Martinez was illegally perked up to unleash over 1,000 punches. “Martinez is a clean fighter and if he was on drugs, it’ll show in his test results,” he said. “He did drug tests before the fight and everything came out OK. The reason why Martinez threw so many punches was because he didn’t respect Jerwin’s power. He just walked through Jerwin and hit like a heavy bag. But you’ve got to give it to Jerwin. He didn’t feel too good 24 hours before the fight, right after the weigh-in. In the dressing room, he wasn’t himself. It showed. He was flat, had no pop, no power, no legs.”

Making the 115-pound limit wasn’t a chore until the day of the weigh-in last Friday. “Jerwin was fine at 117 then it got harder and harder to go down to 115,” said Gibbons. “Taking off that last pound drained him. And it took a toll on his body. He rehydrated and tried to recover. In the fight, he couldn’t execute. He knew what he had to do but just couldn’t do it. He was dead in the weight while Martinez was fresh as a daisy. I was concerned before the fight. Still, he went out there and fought with heart.”

Gibbons said Ancajas’ loss has ruled out a much-awaited duel with WBO titlist Kazuto Ioka in Japan. “That’s off the table,” he said. “Ioka wants to fight the champion, not a challenger. What’s next for Jerwin? We’ll sit down and discuss the future. One option is to do a rematch with Martinez. Another is to go up to 118 and win another title. He had a good run as champion for six years. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. Great champions have lost, legends like Ali and even Sen. Manny Pacquiao, but their greatness was defined by how they came back. It will be the same with Jerwin.”


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


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