IT began and ended with a left hand.
Jerwin Ancajas floored Israel Gonzalez three times on the way to a 10th-round stoppage and retained his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight title on Sunday at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.
The Filipino champion set the tone for the 12-round match when he decked the Mexican challenger with a left hook early in the first round, before downing him twice more in the 10th with a pair of left straights to finish off Gonzalez and cap a fine U.S. debut
Referee Rafael Ramos didn’t bother to count when Gonzalez went down the third time. Time of stoppage was 1:50 of the 10th round.
It was the fourth successful title defense for Ancajas, the pride of Panabo, Davao del Norte now based in Cavite, who improved to 29-1 (20 KOs), setting him up for bigger fights ahead of him after being signed recently into a two-year deal by ESPN.
Compu Box showed Ancajas connected on 36 percent power punches compared to just 19 by Gonzalez. The Filipino threw 231 and landed 84 compared to the 46 of the Mexican after throwing 242.
Gonzalez never picked up the pace until the fourth round when he tried to force and engage Ancajas into a brawl.
But the Filipino kept his discipline and didn’t fall prey into Gonzalez’ fight plan, opting to pile the points instead and then went for the kill in the later rounds.
“Lagi akong pinapaalalahanan ng corner ko tsaka ni coach Joven (Jimenez) na relax lang, huwag akong magmadali. Puntusan ko lang siya muna,” said Ancajas in the post-fight interview.
Jimenez added, “Sabi ko puntos lang muna, mahaba naman yung laban. Pero nung bandang huli sinabi ko kung kaya niyang magpakawala ng tatlo, apat na suntok, gawin niya na.”
Gonzalez, 21, is also making his U.S. debut and saw his record fall at 21-2, with 8 KOs.