Filipino boxers Dela Torre, Ancajas score big KOs in Macau

Pinoy boxing prospects Harmonito Dela Torre and Jerwin Ancajas turned in impressive knockouts at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China.

HEAVY HANDS. Harmonito Dela Torre celebrates his victory with manager Jim Claude Manangquil, trainer Rene Gabawa and ring card girls in Macau. Photo from Manangquil's Facebook

MACAU – After an anticlimactic showing last November in his Macau debut, junior lightweight prospect Harmonito Dela Torre finally got the statement-making performance he had been longing for.

The 20-year-old Dela Torre (12-0, 7 KOs) of Cagayan De Oro, Philippines scored a highlight-reel worthy one-punch knockout of Yakobus Heluka (7-6) of Suru Suru, Indonesia, ending the fight at the 2:17 mark of the first round at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China on Saturday, February 22.

Dela Torre, a former National Team member as an amateur, did the deed with one overhand right hand that caught Heluka as he wound up to throw his own right hand, sending him face-first to the canvas for the ten count.

In his last bout, on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao’s victory over Brandon Rios, Dela Torre won a third-round knockout over Indonesian Jason Butar-Butar. The finale seemed to be more push than punch, leaving a sour taste in his mouth.

Dela Torre now trains out of the Sanman Boxing Gym in General Santos City, Philippines under managers Jim Claude Manangquil and Peter Maniatis, and trainer Rene Gabawa.

“It’s a good knockout with one punch but he needs to improve his movement if he wants to go to the next level,” said Manangquil, assessing his fighter’s performance. A win is a win, we’re happy. Manangquil says that Dela Torre’s next fight may be on the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rematch on April 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nev. 

Jerwin Ancajas started off the show with a clinical two-round demolition job of Thai Inthanon Sithchamuang at the 1:30 mark. Ancajas (19-1-1, 11 KOs) of Cavite City, Philippines came out aggressively, landing southpaw right jabs in the opening moments to put Sithchamuang on the defensive.

Jerwin Ancajas (left) and Harmonito Dela Torre (right). Photo by Ryan Songalia

The jabs blinded Sithchamuang to Ancajas’ payoff punch, the straight left hand, which landed regularly with impunity. Ancajas dropped Sithchamuang two minutes into the first round with a left, punishing him for the rest of the round after he rose up. 

Sithchamuang (20-7, 11 KOs) continued to be an inviting target in the second round, and after being pounded to the canvas once again, the referee halted the fight.

The 22-year-old Ancajas, who now trains out of Manny Pacquiao’s Davao-based gym with Pacquiao assistant Nonoy Neri, has now won six straight – all by knockout – since his lone defeat, a majority-decision loss to Filipino Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012.

“(Neri) has helped me gain more power with plyometrics training, similar to Manny Pacquiao’s,” said Ancajas, who won three National Youth Championships during an eight-year amateur career. 

Manager Joven Jimenez says that promoter Top Rank has promised him a spot on the May 31 card at the same venue in Macau, underneath Nonito Donaire Jr.’s featherweight title challenge against IBF champion Simphiwe Vetyeka. –

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