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With his right hand turning out to be more than just his lead punch, everything went right for southpaw boxer Jerwin Ancajas in his first world title attempt.
The 24-year-old Ancajas pummeled defending champion McJoe Arroyo of Puerto Rico with effective right jabs, sneaky right hooks and vicious combos to the body to snatch the IBF world superflyweight crown in their 12-round title bout held Saturday night at the Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corp in Taguig City.
A huge underdog, Ancajas initially moved around the ring while throwing his jab-straight to the face of Arroyo that bewildered the Puerto Rican foe right from the get-go.
“Sa first round pa lang naramdaman ko na makukuha ko ito kasi naisip ko na noon, sikat na world champion ito pero kaya ko palang tamaan,” said Ancajas.
Ancajas stepped up his attack starting in the third round onwards that made it doubly hard for Arroyo to establish his own momentum.
Arroyo was floored and nearly fell out of the ring in the 8th round via a barrage of shots from Ancajas though the Puerto Rican bravely stood up after the fall.
“Malakas din yung kalaban kasi ilang beses akong tinamaan ng solid. Pero matagal kong hininitay ito kaya hindi ko na pinakawalan,” said Ancajas.
The title fight was supposed to be held September of last year but issues about venues and an injury to Arroyo’s right hand led to several postponements until Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions entered the picture and financed the title bout.
“$25,000 yung bid, 15% ($3,750) ang sa amin tapos yung iba kay Arroyo. Tinanggap na namin kasi hindi na natin alam kung kailan makakakuha ng title shot,” said Ancajas’ manager Joven Jimenez.
With the win, Ancajas (25-1-1, 16 knockouts) became the fourth Filipino boxing champion as he is now in the company of Nonito Donaire, Jr. (WBO superbantamweight), Marlon Tapales (WBO bantamweight) and Johnriel Casimero (IBF flyweight). (DENNIS PRINCIPE)