by Nick Giongco
FRESNO, California – Jerwin Ancajas wasn’t on high gear but it was enough to repulse the bid of mandatory challenger Jonas Sultan in their all-Filipino world title fight Saturday at the Save Mart Center.
Making the fifth defense of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior-bantamweight crown, Ancajas used his ring generalship in earning lopsided scores of 119-109 and 117-111.
Though Sultan landed several clean blows that seemed to have tagged Ancajas, it was not convincing to impress judges Jonathan Davis, Daniel Sandoval and Zachery Young.
It was Ancajas’ superior skills that prevailed in the end as Sultan was the recipient of stiff jabs, uppercuts, hooks and occasional straights from the favored champion.
Ancajas controlled the first two rounds before Sultan, in his first title try, landed a huge right wallop.
But Ancajas rebounded and won the next round by keeping Sultan at bay.
In the succeeding rounds, Ancajas, behind his southpaw style, connected well but occasionally took hits from his awkward foe.
Ancajas best moments came in the 11th and 12th, rounds that showed the disparity in the talent between the two.
“I was pacing myself as told by coach (Joven Jimenez),” said Ancajas, admitting that he was wary of Sultan’s counters. “I knew that he came to fight.”
The first all-Filipino world title clash in 93 years following flyweight titlist Pancho Villa’s victory over Clever Sencio in 1925 in Manila, Ancajas likewise swore that Sultan packed dynamite and that he and his corner were deeply concerned about getting struck by a counterpunch.
The victory raised Ancajas’ record to 30-1-1 with 20 KOs while the defeat dropped Sultan’s card to 14-4 with nine KOs.
A defense in September or October – Ancajas’ sixth of the IBF 115lb title – is on the horizon. If victorious, Top Rank, which promotes Ancajas, could wrap 2018 with a Christmas fight.
In the end, Ancajas’ face was a bit puffy while Sultan’s had bruises all over and a lump on his forehead.
Earlier, Filipino lightweight John Moralde scored a fifth-round knockdown en route to an eight-round unanimous decision over Ismail Muwendo of Uganda.
Moralde, gasping for air in the last two rounds, survived a furiouslate rally by the Minneapolis-based Muwendo to raise his record to 20-1 with 10 KOs. The loss gave Muwendo his first loss for a 19-1 card with 12 KOs.
Two judges scored it 76-74 while the third had it 77-73, all for the General Santos City-bred puncher.