Quijano: The Pinoy Pretty Boy

Don’t look now but Jerwin Ancajas (33-1, 22KOs) may be fast approaching Pinoy boxing icon status.

This talented Davao del Norte native just notched his ninth successful defense of the IBF superflyweight title over the weekend as he scored a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-2, 16 KOs).

THE FIGHT. Often tagged as a boxer with decent torque in his fists, the quiet and unassuming Ancajas apparently wanted to make a statement in this fight by mostly opting to stand and trade with the Mexican slugger.

In the very first round, Ancajas tagged Rodriguez with a left straight that staggered the challenger. In the second and third rounds, both men scored with Rodriguez landing hooks while Ancajas went to the body more.

In the middle rounds, Ancajas’ advantage in hand speed became more pronounced as he often landed first and scored with more accurate combinations. For his part, Rodriguez kept things honest by landing thudding hooks and straights.

Perhaps sensing his foe could not hurt him, Ancajas sat down on his punches more in the sixth round and engaged Rodriguez in a phone booth duke-out.

In Round 8, Rodriguez suffered the first knockdown of his career after Ancajas pummeled him in a corner—landing several unanswered blows until Rodriguez was forced to take a knee.

In Round 9, Rodriguez came alive and landed his fair share of leather, but Ancajas hurt him again with a body shot in the 10th.

Ancajas’ decision to invest in the body early served him well as it slowed down Rodriguez a bit in the championship rounds, which was quite fortunate because Ancajas himself looked spent and tired.

Still, Ancajas clearly did enough to earn the unanimous decision verdict with scores of 115-112, 117-110 and 116-111.

STREAK. Jerwin’s streak is quite impressive considering not many predicted him to have a long reign in this ultra-talented division.

After wresting the crown from McJoe Arroyo back in 2016, he has tallied a near perfect record of 6 KOs, 2 decision wins and a draw in a four-year span.

In this modern era of boxing, it’s rare to see fighters hold on to a title for several years. Next to Donnie Nietes who holds the record for most defenses among Filipino boxers, the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde also made 10 successful defenses of his super featherweight crown.

To be mentioned in the same breath as these boxing icons is truly a remarkable feat for “Pretty Boy.”

LAST ROUND. It’s on a lovely lady who radiates warmth and love to everyone— Bambi Macaraya-Hall, who recently celebrated her birthday. Cheers!