Mohegan Sun, CT - IBF super flyweight world champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (31-1-2, 22 KOs) successfully defended his title for the ninth time with a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Rodriguez (21-2, 16 KOs) in an action-packed 12-round affair.
The victory extends Ancajas’ streak of consecutive title defenses to nine, which marks the most of any current world champion. Fighting out of the Philippines, the 29-year-old controlled the pace of the fight with a consistent dedication to the body, where he landed 131 of his 232 total punches.
“I’m very happy to get the win. I waited a long time for the opportunity to get back in the ring and it’s exciting to win in my first fight on this stage fighting on Showtime,” said Ancajas. “This was my toughest fight so far. It was the hardest of any of my nine defenses and it’s exciting that it was on a big card. I trained hard for this opportunity and it feels great to get the win.”
The title fight featured back-and-forth action with Mexico’s Rodriguez pressuring and baiting the champion to fight him at close distance. At the end of the eighth round, Ancajas finished a flurry of punches with a huge right hand that sent Rodriguez to the canvas for the first time in his career.
“I thought he was going to be stopped because I saw him look at his corner and it didn’t look like he wanted to go on,” continued Ancajas. “But he got up and fought and I respect him for doing that.”
The ringside judges scored the fight 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110 for Ancajas, while unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood tallied the fight at 114-113. Farhood agreed with the three official judges in giving the final three rounds to Rodriguez. Despite dropping the decision, the 25-year-old Rodriguez impressed fight fans with his tremendous determination and high-level skill in his first world title fight and U.S. debut.
“I don’t think it was a just decision,” said Rodriguez. “I thought maybe a split decision, and I would accept it a little more. But we knew coming in that the judges were against us in this fight.”