Ancajas defends IBF belt, bests Sultan with UD win in historic All-Filipino clash

Delfin Dioquino

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Ancajas defends IBF belt, bests Sultan with UD win in historic All-Filipino clash
The titleholder from Panabo City retains his super flyweight crown for the 5th time and extends his winning streak to 17 fights

MANILA, Philippines – Jerwin Ancajas displayed tremendous poise and skill to retain his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight belt. 

The champion outboxed compatriot Jonas Sultan in a 12-round unanimous decision win at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California on Sunday, May 27 (Philippine time), in what was billed as the first all-Filipino world title clash in nearly a century. 

Utilizing the jab, the most potent weapon in his offensive arsenal, Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 knockouts) earned scores of 119-109 from two judges and 117-111 from the other in the one-sided affair. 

It was the first time in 93 years two Filipinos vied for a world title since Pancho Villa defended his flyweight belt against Clever Sencio in a 15-round unanimous decision win in 1925. 

The southpaw from Panabo City, who extended his winning streak to 17 fights and defended his crown for the 5th straight time in his second bout in US soil, controlled the pace from the get-go by keeping Sultan at bay with his jab. 

Sultan (14-4, 9 KOs), who saw his 5 fight winning streak come to an end, kept pressing the defending champion but found himself at times punching air as the patient Ancajas evaded his attacks with his shoulder rolls and polished footwork.

Ancajas, going the distance for the first time since he won his IBF belt against McJoe Arroyo in September of 2016, didn’t rush it and found his moment to unleash a flurry of body punches in rounds 5 and 6. 

Trying to close the gap in the scorecards, Sultan tried to land something big in the latter rounds only to witness his much-experienced foe keep the distance. 

A possible unification bout could be waiting for Ancajas against World Boxing Association super flyweight king Khalid Yafai (24-0, 15 KOs), who defended his title in the same Top Rank card with a 7th-round stoppage of David Carmona (21-6-5, 9 KOs).

In another bout of the same card, Filipino John Vincent Moralde (20-1, 10 KOs) impressed by defeating previously unbeaten Ismail Muwendo (19-1, 12 KOs) with an 8-round unanimous decision win in their lightweight bout. 

Moralde knocked down the Ugandan in rounds 1 and 5 before keeping his composure in the latter rounds to withstand Muwendo and earn scores of 77-73 from two judges and 76-74 from the other.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.