By Keith Idec
Jerwin Ancajas didn’t deliver an abundance of entertainment Saturday night, but he easily defended his IBF super flyweight title.
Ancajas beat fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan by unanimous decision in the 12-round main event of a nine-bout card at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California. The Ancajas-Sultan fight mostly amounted to an awkward battle between a technically sound southpaw in Ancajas and an unconventional right-handed challenger who couldn’t consistently land against the champion.
Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 KOs) won very convincingly on the scorecards of judges Jonathan Davis (119-109), Daniel Sandoval (117-111) and Zac Young (119-109).
Their 12-round, 115-pound championship match was billed as the first world title bout between Filipino fighters in 93 years.
Ancajas, 26, made the fifth defense of the IBF super flyweight title he won in September 2016 and ended Sultan’s five-fight winning streak. The 26-year-old Sultan (14-4, 9 KOs) lost for the first time since dropping a 10-round unanimous decision to Japan’s Go Onaga (28-4-4, 19 KOs) in November 2015.
Sultan kept trying, right up until the final bell sounded. He spent much of the 12th round swinging and missing against Ancajas, who maintained his distance and didn’t take many chances in those three minutes.
Ancajas connected with a left hand and Sultan hit him with a right hand almost simultaneously when there were about 40 seconds to go in the 11th round. Sultan also developed a hematoma between his eyes during the 11th round, seemingly from an accidental clash of heads.
In the 10th round, Sultan landed a couple left hooks, but nothing that hurt Ancajas.
Sultan swung so wildly with a left hook that he fell to the canvas 35 seconds into the eighth round. Several seconds later, Sultan hit Ancajas with a left hand as a distracted Ancajas checked his forehead for blood following an accidental clash of heads.
Ancajas boxed well during the sixth and seventh rounds. Sultan kept trying, but he couldn’t land more than a right hand at a time against the elusive southpaw during those rounds.
Sultan clipped Ancajas with a right uppercut just before the midway point of the fifth round.
Sultan landed a flush right hand to Ancajas’ jaw with just under 10 seconds remaining in the third round. Ancajas took that shot well.
Ancajas connected with a straight left hand when there was just under a minute to go in the second round. Sultan came right back and landed a right hand after taking that left from Ancajas.
Ancajas used his jab well and kept Sultan at a comfortable distance during the first round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.