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MASAM SPORTS 48: JERWIN ANCAJAS AT THE CROSSROADS --- REMATCH WITH FERNANDO MARTINEZ OR MOVE UP TO BANTAMWEIGHT?


PhilBoxing.com




Former IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas has the right to a rematch with his recent tormentor Fernando Martinez per fight contract, but it seems the Panabo City native won't be exercising such option and will move up to the bantamweight division instead.

Ancajas (33-2-2, 22 KO) and his trainer/manager Joven Jimenez asserted that the difficulty in reducing his weight to the 115-pound limit was the main contributory factor in Ancajas’ upset defeat to Martinez, who hit him with 427 punches in 12 rounds compared to Ancajas' 192 punches.

Martinez, a fan of Mike Tyson, scored a very convincing unanimous decision with the scores of 117-111, 118-110 and 118-110.

“Usually, on Friday we’ll just work out a bit before the weigh-in,” said Jimenez as quoted by Rappler. “Not this time, he wasn’t really able to recover and rehydrate.”

At the second round, Ancajas claimed his legs cramped and at the fourth round, he just fought not to be knocked out and his heart and instinct made him finish the match without getting stopped.

“My body betrayed me,” added Ancajas. “I could see his punches. I knew they were coming, but I couldn’t react. Even my brain wouldn’t respond, no muscle memory. So I would just absorb them.”

Earlier Ancajas was planning to exercise an option for an immediate rematch with Martinez in their contract.

“I am so thankful for team Martinez to give me this opportunity to make this fight,” Ancajas said as quoted by Inquirer Sports. “Yes, I want the rematch and I’ll do everything to achieve my goal. I learned a lot in this fight and he’s a great challenger.”

Veteran analyst Quinito Henson said over ABS-CBN that there should have been a nutritionist by his side. Jeaneth Aro worked with Jerwin in his four fights which he won easily and his weight was very well managed. But because of the pandemic it was difficult to get the nutritionist back on track.

Ancajas was supposed to fight with WBO champion Kazuto Ioka in Japan on New Year's Eve in 2021, but the fight was scrapped due to the rising Omicron cases. He had to wait for two months before getting the Martinez fight.

"He was already prepared going to Japan, then it was cancelled all of a sudden. He was able to get the right weight, then back to the heavier weight, then returned to the original weight of 115, then back again. So it was very difficult to adjust," Henson said.

The “stay busy” fight against the unknown Martinez (14-0-0, 8 KOs) proved to be Ancajas' waterloo. At age 30, Ancajas still has a lot of chance to bounce back at superflyweight or at bantamweight.

The bantamweight division, however, like the superflyweight, is full of great fighters like Naoya Inoue, Nonito Donaire, John Riel Casimero, Jason Moloney, Takuma Inoue, Gary Antonio Russell, Jonas Sultan, and Vincent Astrolabio.

Pretty Boy really has a lot of soul-searching to do on his target to become a world champion again. Stay at superflyweight and hire a full-time expert nutritionist or move up to bantamweight to get rid of his weight problems.

For Martinez, there's a great possibility that if Ancajas won't fight him in a rematch, he will next face another Filipino fighter in mandatory challenger Jade Bornea unless the new titlist aspires for unification fights against other champions.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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