INTERNATIONAL Boxing Federation super flyweight champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas retained his title on Sunday (Manila time) after his technical knockout win in the seventh round over Japanese challenger Ryuichi Funai at the Stockton Arena in California.
Fighting in his seventh title defense, Mr. Ancajas, 27, left no doubt as to the outcome of the contest, dominating his opponent right from the opening bell all the way to the moment that the ring side doctor deemed Mr. Funai had taken enough damage and called the fight off, effectively handing the TKO victory to Mr. Ancajas at the start of the seventh round.
The explosive victory took Davao del Norte native Ancajas’ record to 31 wins as opposed to one loss and two draws.
It was also a sea change in performance for Mr. Ancajas after his split draw outing against Mexican Alejandro Santiago in September and a unanimous decision victory over compatriot Julius Sultan prior to that.
Both fights were lukewarmly received by pundits and fans who believed he could have performed far better than he did.
After winning over Mr. Funai, the Filipino champion thanked his supporters both in the Philippines and California for rallying behind him in his latest conquest and serving as motivation to do well.
He was also humble in victory, giving Mr. Funai his due credit as well.
“Credit to Funai as well. He showed what a true Japanese fighter is, not giving up in fights. I hit him with some solid and hard punches but he just kept coming,” Mr. Ancajas said post-fight.
With the loss, Mr. Funai dropped to 37-2.
Ancajas has been a champion since Sept. 2016 when he defeated McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico.
As he prepared for Mr. Funai, the IBF super flyweight champion and his team made adjustments in the fighter’s training setup, including moving much of their training time to a Marine base in Ternate from its Survival Camp in Magallanes, Cavite, to allow Mr. Ancajas to focus more; engaging the services of a nutritionist to monitor his food intake; and employing a number of sparring partners to give him different looks and styles to take note from. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo