DESPITE being made to look bad by Alejandro Santiago in his last defense of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight title, Jerwin Ancajas got a high mark from his longtime trainer.
“Nasa 8 to 9 ang grado ko sa kanya,” said Joven Jimenez when asked to rate the performance of the 26-year-old Ancajas against his Mexican opponent on a scale of 1 to 10.
“Nagawa niya ang gusto namin sa taas ng ring,” added Jimenez, who arrived with the champion and the rest of the entourage on Monday from Oakland, California. “Alam namin mahirap na kalaban si Barrios dahil sa style niya.”
Barrios’ unpredictability had Ancajas struggling with his timing during the 12-round bout at the Oracle Arena. But Jimenez said Ancajas made the necessary adjustment during the course of the fight by switching from being a pressure fighter to a counter-puncher.
“Gusto kasi namin pabagsakin si Barrios, pero nakita ko hindi kaya ni Jerwin kaya nagbago kami ng istilo,” he said. “Nung later rounds, nagbago ulit kami at nag-pressure ulit para gumanda pa lalo ang laban at masiyahan ang mga tao.”
There was no doubt in his mind Ancajas did enough to win the sixth defense of his 115-lbs belt. The match ended in a split draw by scores of 116-112, 118-111, and 114-114.
“Si Jerwin ang nagdala sa laban round by round,” he stressed, which Jimenez said should have been the job of a challenger.
Upon their arrival at the NAIA Terminal 1, Ancajas was given a warm welcome by his fellow officers from the Philippine Navy, complete with band and banners congratulating the Chief Petite Officer.
Ancajas, who still sport a blemish on his right eye, will rest for a while and be with his newborn baby Jacey Kiera, wife Ruth and children Kyrie and Kylie.
But he’ll be leaving for Thailand on Friday along with Jimenez and international matchmaker Sean Gibbons to watch Srisaket Sor Ruvingsai defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) super-flyweight crown against Mexican Iran Diaz.