EVEN the camp of challenger Jonas Sultan noticed early in his world title fight against Jerwin Ancajas what was obvious to the naked eye – the champion didn’t look as good as advertised.
Edito Villamor, lead trainer of the 26-year-old Sultan, said Ancajas was not the same fighter that night of May 26 at the Save Mart Center in Fresno, California compared to the one who knocked out Jamie Conlan and Israel Velazquez in his last two defenses of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) super-flyweight belt.
It was clear, according to Villamor, Ancajas didn’t have sting in his punches and visibly, refused to engage Sultan in toe-to-toe exchanges.
“Si Jerwin kulang ang snap ng suntok niya, parang dina-drag niya compared sa last two fights niya,” said Villamor, looking back at the historic match that marked the first world title fight in 93 years involving two Filipino fighters, upon arriving in the country together with Sultan on Wednesday.
“At nag-pacing siya,” added the former Filipino challenger who fought the great Mexican Ricardo Lopez for the World Boxing Council (WBC) minimumweight title in 1996 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Alam nila ng corner niya na pag sumabay siya kay Jonas, mauubusan siya sa later rounds.”
Too bad, Sultan wasn’t patient enough and veered away from his corner’s fight plan.
“Ang kay Jonas, kulang sa combinations ang mga suntok,” admitted the 47-year-old head trainer of famed, Cebu-base ALA boxing gym who is now back in the Queen City of the South along with Sultan. “Gusto niya one punch KO, kaya nasira ang diskarte niya.”
Sultan already owed up to his mistake that led to him losing to Ancajas by a mile behind scores of 119-109, 119-109, and 117-111.
The Ancajas camp also shared the same observation of Villamor, with trainer Joven Jimenez vocal enough to rate his fighter’s performance at six in a scale of 1 to 10 as he lacked the speed and power on his punches.
In the end, Villamor likened the fight to a chess match.
“It was a great tactical fight between the two,” he said. “May kulang si Jerwin, may kulang din si Jonas.”
As it turned out, it was the champion who managed to fill in his own void on the way to the clear victory.