Fernando Martinez halts Jerwin Ancajas’ 5-year reign as IBF world champ

By Rob Andrew Dongiapon

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

In a bout that resembled more like a violent barnburner than sweet science, Jerwin Ancajas yielded his long-held IBF Super Flyweight world championship in a unanimous decision loss against Fernando Martinez Sunday (Manila time) in Las Vegas. 

Entering the fight as an unheralded underdog under the promotion of legend and fellow Argentine Marcos Maidana, Martinez inflicted a sustained onslaught on the Filipino, asserting dominance with volumized blows throughout to sway all three judges in his favor (117-111, 118-111, 118-111).

Martinez had the hallmarks of a slugging machine on all 12 rounds, throwing a whopping 1046 total punches from which he connected 427. In comparison, Ancajas only managed to score 192 of his 816 punches thrown.

Martinez’s power punching was also on a high-octane gear as he unloaded 833 power blows and managed to land 421 (51%) on Ancajas to establish a new 115-lb record of power punches landed, according to ShowTime stats. 

Looking like the heavier puncher for most rounds, Ancajas lashed 170 out of his 548 power punches — even clipping the challenger with hefty blows in the eighth and ninth rounds to cease some fire out of the Argentinian’s rally — but the  unforgiving tempo Martinez imposed in the match had the champion slugging through mere instinct.

The hectic pace resumed in the championship rounds with Martinez barely relenting on Ancajas, punishing the Filipino with combinations of sharp right hooks, and left straights on the head to bring Ancajas’ 64-month reign to a screeching halt.   

Ancajas moved to 33-2-2, while Martinez kept his record immaculate at 14-0. 

Earlier in the day, Filipino boxer Vincent Astrolabio chalked up an upset on 41-year old Guillermo Rigondeaux to snag the WBC International Bantamweight championship via unanimous decision at Dubai Marina in the United Arab Emirates. 

The General Santos native Astrolabio handed Rigondeaux, a former two-division world champion and a Nonito Donaire conqueror at his own right, his third career loss en route to the Filipino’s 17th professional win on 20 fights 

The 24-year old bantamweight also gave Rigondeaux his first knockdown in eight years after he fell to the canvass in the eighth round courtesy of a flash left-right combination by Astrolabio. 

Rigondeaux’s flooring proved to be the deciding factor of the bout as all judges scored the fight 95-94 all in favor of the Filipino.

The loss was the Cuban’s second straight defeat after succumbing to Filipino WBO bantamweight titlist Johnriel Casimero last August via split decision. 


Edited by Jostle Pilayre



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