JERWIN Ancajas finally crowned himself as world champion Saturday night.
The 24-year-old Filipino dominated McJoe Arroyo for 12 full rounds to dethrone the Puerto Rican behind a unanimous decision win and wrest the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight championship at the Philippine Marine gymnasium.
The pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte won it by scores of 117-11o (Takeo Harada), 118-109 (Gil Co), and 115-112 (Carlos Colo). He scored the fight’s lone knockdown when he almost sent Arroyo out of the ring with a barrage of combinations in the eight round.
The fight was long in coming for Ancajas, who was supposed to challenge for Arroyo’s title as early as April, only for the bout to be moved to a later date owing to an injury the Puerto Rican suffered while in training camp.
“Ang tagal ko talagang hinintay ito. Naging maganda naman ang resulta,” said the newly-crowned champion, who raised his record to 25-1-1 with 16 KOs.
It was the first loss in 18 pro bouts for the 30-year-old Arroyo (8 KOs) as he yielded the belt he won over Filipino King Arthur Villanueva a year ago right in his first title defense.
Despite the dominant fighter throughout the match, Ancajas admitted also getting rocked by the former champion in many of their fierce exchanges.
“Malakas din (ang suntok niya). Hanggang ngayon nga medyo bingi pa yung tenga ko dahil sa isang tama niya kanina,” said Ancajas, who became the first world champion produced by the MP Promotions of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao.
Arroyo sported a welt just under his left eye and didn't stay long enough shortly when the deicsion was handed down.
He actually went down again in the ninth round in what appeared to be a potent left to the body by Ancajas. Referee Gene del Blanco though, ruled it as a slip.
Arroyo launched an all-out assault in the final three rounds when his corner sensed he was slowly losing the fight. But Ancajas survived the onslaught and was up on his feet when the final beng rang,
“Yung mga sigawan at suporta ng mga tao na nanonood dito ang siyang nagpapalakas sa akin,” said the new world champion later.
Ancajas became the country’s latest world title holder after Nonito Donaire Jr., Marlon Tapales, and Johnriel Casimero.