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Ancajas faces dangerous foe

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
Mon, 30 Sep 2019



A Mexican fighter who nearly killed his opponent in the ring last June will attempt to dethrone IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas in a scheduled 12-round bout at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson City, California, on Nov. 2 with the Filipino making the eighth defense of the crown he wrested three years ago.

Jonathan Javier Rodriguez, 24, stepped up to the plate after former WBC superflyweight titlist Carlos Cuadras of Mexico, Miguel Gonzalez of Chile and Alexandru Marin of Romania turned down offers to face Ancajas. He?s coming off a 10th round stoppage of two-time world title challenger Felipe Orucuta who collapsed on the canvas and lost consciousness. Orucuta, 33, was administered CPR to revive his heartbeat, left the ring on a stretcher, went on a medically-induced coma, had surgery to remove a blood clot in the brain and was confined in the hospital for seven weeks before discharge.

Rodriguez blasted Orucuta with vicious power shots that led to the stoppage at the 2:54 mark of the 10th in a battle for the WBC FECOMBOX (Federacion de Comisiones de Box de la Republica Mexicana) superflyweight diadem. Orucuta survived the ordeal but will never be licensed to box again.

Rodriguez, ranked No. 14 by the IBF, has won his last five fights, four inside the distance, in compiling a record of 21-1, with 15 KOs. His only loss was by a split decision to Juan Martin Estrada in Monterrey last year. Known as ?Titan,? Rodriguez has never fought outside of Mexico.

Ancajas, 27, has met three Mexican challengers so far, halting Jose Alfredo Rodriguez and Israel Gonzalez and drawing with Alejandro Santiago. The southpaw from Panabo has not lost in his last 19 outings since dropping a majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in Lapu Lapu City in 2012. His record is 31-1-2, with 21 KOs.

Ancajas? trainer Joven Jimenez said he expects a tough fight. ?Mas fighter si Rodriguez kaysa kina Santiago at Gonzalez,? he said. ?Papasok talaga at may lakas din. Panay panood namin ang mga laban niya sa YouTube.? Rodriguez is a typical Mexican warrior who comes forward to engage. He fights flat-footed, likes to counter but leaves himself open down the pipe. Rodriguez doesn?t back down and will take a shot to give a shot. He?s vulnerable to the uppercut as his arms aren?t tightly closed together to protect his torso.

Ancajas began working out for his next defense at the Naval Education and Training Command Base in San Antonio, Zambales last August. Jimenez brought in a platoon of sparmates to push Ancajas, including Abu Dhabi-based Pakistani superlightweight Usman Wazeer, unbeaten superlightweight Daniel Lim and unbeaten lightflyweight Angelo Beltran. Ancajas will leave Manila for Los Angeles on Oct. 18 with Jimenez, Fernando Parcon, Todd Makelim, nutritionist Jeaneth Aro and Virgil Jimenez.

MP Promotions head Sean Gibbons, who arranged Ancajas? defense, said Rodriguez has a ?very pleasing? Mexican in-your-face style and ?it will make a good fight.? Beyond Rodriguez, Ancajas is looking forward to a showdown with WBC superflyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico next year. Estrada is fresh from disposing of Dewayne Beamon in the ninth round in Hermosillo, Mexico, last month. ?A Jerwin fight against Estrada is definitely a pay-per-view event and will bring back the intense boxing rivalry between the Philippines and Mexico,? said Gibbons.

But before negotiations even start for an Estrada duel, Ancajas has to take care of Rodriguez. How the near-fatal incident with Orucuta will affect Rodriguez is a question mark. It could make him gun-shy or boost his confidence as a power puncher but Ancajas isn?t about to speculate. What Ancajas knows is Rodriguez is a dangerous opponent and he can?t afford to lower his guard or get careless in his eighth title defense because a big-money fight against Estrada is at stake.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.

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