Jerwin Ancajas was able to get himself the slugfest he expected from Jonathan Rodriguez, picking up a unanimous decision after an action packed 12 round battle, retaining his IBF junior bantamweight title at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday night in Connecticut.
judges Tony Paolillo (115-112), Tom Schreck (116-111) and Don Trella (117-110) also scored the fight for Ancajas but two of those cards did not reflect how close the 12 round battle had been.
Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KOs) was able to drop Rodrigues in the eight round of the battle but the previously untested title aspirant didn’t fling, regaining his composure and going on to test Ancajas in the remaining rounds of the fight.
Ancajas with the win, retained his title for the ninth time and unbeaten record in world title fights, which has now improved 9-0-1 and leaves him unbeaten in 9 years. He defeated Puerto Rico’s McJoe Arroyo to win the title back in 2016.
The two were to meet last year but due to the COVID 19 pandemic got cancelled. However, with their performance, true boxing fans will accept, it was worth the wait. The loss was Rodriguez first loss in three years and that came via a 10 round split decision in the hands of countryman Jose Garcia. He has since then accumulated a 5-1-1 record.
The first three rounds were mostly Ancajas domination, which started with Rodriguez being knocked off balance with a punch to the Jaw. He was quick to recover and land a few punches of his own. However, he just kept complaining to the referee Fields, bring up a case of constantly being hit at the back of the head.
Rodriguez woke up in the fourth landing a combination on Ancajas and complimented it with a left hook. Ancajas kept trying to work down Rodriguez by breaking him down with body shots. Another left hook landed on Ancajas head in the midway of the fifth.
The sixth round was all round war, as Ancajas backed Rodriguez to the ropes and they both traded shots giving it their all for most of the action packed round. The seventh round was more of the same as they both battered their way to the bell.
The eight round saw Rodriguez go after Ancajas with lefts but the Champ fired back, landing combinations to the head and body and was able to send Rodriguez to the canvas with one of those combinations with just 20 seconds remaining in the eight round.
Rodriguez was able to beat Fields count and made it to the end of the round. The effects of the drop was still evident in the ninth as he was knocked on the ropes. Ancajas was seriously battering him away with body shots and this made him retreat or land head shots of his own to create some space for himself.
Rodriguez backed Ancajas away with vicious head shots in the 10th round but the champ came back stronger, returning to his work on Rodriguez’s body. Rodriguez landed a big right in the start of the eleventh but Ancajas was able to stop him from starting a unslaught with a big left of his own. They both ended the round with a back and forth battle.
The final round was another war as the outcome wasn’t certain. Rodriguez landed an effective big right that sure had an effect on Ancajas before the midway point of the round. They both went on to batter themselves till the final bell.