Coming into the bout, reigning IBF Super-Flyweight World Titlist 🇵🇭Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (33-1-2, 22KO) was looking to secure his 9th successful defense, but #1 world mandatory challenger 🇲🇽Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-2-0, 16KO) made it as tough as possible for the Champion, fighting Ancajas tooth and nail through 12 rounds. The bout was declared a Unanimous Decision victory for Ancajas, but the action in the bout reflected that it was much closer than the scores indicated.
Jerwin Ancajas throughout his career has been the model of consistency, and it shows through his performances. Every once in a while, he finds himself against a gritty type, that is looking to take the fight to him, and he is generally open to meet fire with fire if that type of fight is forced upon him.
Well tonight was certainly one of those nights, as little known Rodriguez impressed pundits in this bout due to his sheer toughness, stamina, and willingness to stand in the pocket to take a punch, in order to get his own shots off.
Ancajas early on was working from range, peppering with the jab, and throwing a wide variety of crosses depending on the challengers defensive positioning. By mid fight, Rodriguez stepped further inwards, and began to hammer Ancajas inside, finding success with the uppercut, splitting the guard of Ancajas who typically stood even-stanced in close.
Ancajas found success going down stairs to hammer Rodriguez with the right hook, and while damage was being done to the brave Mexican fighter, he continuously bit down on his gumshield, and brought heavy artillery for return fire.
The 8th round, after being hurt from an accumulation of punches, Rodriguez found himself in real trouble with Ancajas bludgeoning him with a prolonged combination by the turnbuckle, and Rodriguez went down for the first time in his career. In pain, he got up at the count of 9, and he escaped out of the round.
Seeming as if he didn’t have anything left to give, Rodriguez understood the desperation of the moment, and stepped his efforts up a couple levels in the 9th round, fighting like gangbusters, and stubbornly snatching back the momentum from the Filipino titlist.
It seemed that the later it got in the fight, the more explosive Rodriguez became, leaving a lasting impact on the fight. Ancajas understood that the challenger was surging late, so even though down the stretch Rodriguez was producing better results, Ancajas relied on his grit as well, throwing away some of his technique, and defense to put himself in the firing range so that he can inflict his own damage.
The fight went the full 12 rounds, and there was intrigue surrounding how this fight would be scored. There was only one credible scorecard of 115-112, but the other two judges tally can be deemed as faulty, or ridiculous. With scores of 116-111, and 117-110, they all went to the victor, and that was Jerwin Ancajas, who picked up his 9th title defense, and the 33rd win of his career.
Us here at Project Combat scored the fight 📝115-112, and it could’ve credibly been scored as 114-113 as well – it was that type of fight. Ancajas after the fight expressed his desires to fight in a Unification bout. The true Champion of the division is 🇲🇽Juan Francisco Estrada, who holds the RING, WBA and WBC Super-Flyweight World Titles, while also great 🇯🇵Kazuto Ioka holds the WBO belt. Certainly that is who is to target for Ancajas who is looking for the notoriety, and the opportunities to prove his worth at the top of the division.
Despite the loss, Jonathan Javier Rodriguez was very impressive tonight, and his name should be remembered, as he has proven to be someone who can give a lot of Super-Flyweights hell, and certainly, matchmakers will see his performance, and the opportunities may pile up for the Mexican fighter, and he has made himself a commodity as a contending fighter, with plenty of fight options he can find himself in.