Ancajas KOs Gonzalez, keeps title in impressive US debut

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International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas made a successful United States debut after knocking out Israel Gonzalez of Mexico in the 10th round to retain his belt on Sunday (Philippine time) at the Bank of America Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ancajas connected two crisp combinations to set up a deadly left hook that floored the exhausted Mexican twice, forcing referee Rafael Ramos to stop the bout with 1:12 left in the 10th round.

It was Ancajas’ fourth successive title defense by knockout, and his resounding win over Gonzalez could be his ticket to stardom.

“He (Ancajas) did a tremendous job and he looks great. I mean, it is a great performance and everybody is praising him. It was a perfect night for him. He was really terrific before the very tough Mexican and he came through very well,” Top Rank Promotion head Bob Arum told The Manila Times via overseas call.


Jerwin Ancajas AFP PHOTO

Ancajas, who now improved his record to 29-1-1 (win-loss-draw) with 20 knockouts, knocked out the Mexican to the ground in the opening round with a powerful jab and took the cue from there in controlling the fight.

Gonzalez managed to get back and showed resiliency in the succeeding rounds but Ancajas continued dominating the Mexican en route to his 10th round KO win.

Arum said Gonzalez was a tough and durable opponent but Ancajas was just too good for the challenger.

“At 115-pound level, it is really tough to score a knockout but he did it. He will be a big, big superstar in the future,” said Arum.

Gonzalez (21-2 win-loss record with eight knockouts) tried to be the aggressor in the fifth round cornering Ancajas with his counter-punches. The 26-year-old Ancajas, however, showed poise while being attacked sneaking in a solid straight against his foe in the seventh round.

Ancajas then delivered the coup de grace—a left hook—in the 10th round against his 21-year-old challenger.

Ancajas also beat Gonzales in the stats­—punches thrown (477-303), punches that landed (130-48) and power shots (84-46). He was accompanied by trainer and manager Joven Jimenez and former Olympian Mark Anthony Barriga in the fight.

Ramirez dominates Ahmed with 6th round stoppage
In the co-main event, Mexican champion Gilberto Ramirez easily retained his World Boxing Organization super middleweight title, dominating challenger Habib Ahmed in a one-sided main event.

Ahmed’s corner mercifully threw in the towel with 29 seconds left in the sixth round, as their fighter was unable to fight back while being overwhelmed with body and headshots.

The southpaw Ramirez improved to 37-0 with 25 KOs as he defended his 76-kilogram (168 pound) title for the third time since winning it from Arthur Abraham in 2016.

Ramirez said he was pleased to get his first win by a knockout in three years.

“This fight was really important,” Ramirez said. “We have been training for a knockout and we got it.

“I never felt frustrated. I kept moving forward at him and tried to hit the body.”

Ramirez suffered a cut above his left eye in the third round from an accidental head butt. His corner did a good job of closing the wound so it didn’t bother him for the final three rounds.

He came dangerously close to knocking Ahmed out in the fifth round, connecting on separate occasions with an overhand right, right hook and a driving right jab before the challenger was saved by the bell.

Heading into the final round, Ramirez had landed a total of 90 punches to just 24 for the heavy underdog Ahmed, who was fighting for the first time out of his home country.

He was ranked fourth in the division despite almost 70 percent of his previous wins coming against boxers with losing records.

Ramirez already holds the distinction of being the first fighter from Mexico to win a title in the 76kg division and now he’s setting his sights on unifying the different titles.

“Next I would like to fight with another champion from Europe or England for a unification.

“I want to be the best division pound for pound fighter.”

WITH REPORT FROM AFP

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