Jerwin Ancajas Scores a Surprisingly Wide Unanimous Decision Over Jonathan Javier Rodriguez
Fighting on the undercard of the Boots Ennis/Sergey Lipinets headliner at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, Jerwin Ancajas (33-1-2 with 20 KOs) shook off 16 months of layoff rust to defeat Mexican challenger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (22-2 with 16 KOs) by unanimous decision in a fabulously entertaining bout Saturday night.
In his 9th defense of his IBF Junior Bantamweight title, the Filipino Ancajas on Showtime started off with precision shots to Rodriguez’s body and landed a sizable straight left to the the jaw in the first round, briefly knocking the Mexican off balance.
Ancajas’ southpaw, counter-punching style slowed the normally fast-starting Rodriguez, who was taking a big step up in class—having never fought for a title (or outside of his native country) before tonight.
Rodriguez started to even up the fight in the third, landing a number of uppercuts that Ancajas struggled to defend himself against. Ancajas bounced back in the fourth with a series of jabs that set up his left hand, which rarely missed the jaw of Rodriguez—of whom, it must be said, took the blows without a backward step. Round six was the best of the fight, with both men trading shots both upstairs and down with alacrity.
Ancajas adjusted after the sixth, keeping better distance from Rodriguez, eventually scoring a knockdown at the end of the eight after a brutal accumulation of punches. Ancajas dominated much of the ninth, but you have to hand it to Rodriguez, he closed the round with courage and some power despite being clearly hurt multiple times in the round. Remarkably, Rodriguez bounced back with force in the final rounds with relentless punching and fearless forward movement.
When the fight closed, two of the three judges turned in nonsensical cards, giving the fight to Ancajas by scores of 116-111 and 117-110 (the third judge had it 115-112). Two blind mice, for sure.
Ancajas has now not lost a fight in over nine years since suffering a majority decision defeat at the hands of Mark Anthony Geraldo in March of 2012, and will likely look for a unification title bout in the near future. While the relatively unknown Rodriguez (he didn’t even have a Wikipedia page going into the fight) suffered his first knockdown and only his second loss, he gave one hell of an account of himself, and I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to see him back in the ring as soon as possible.
Eimantas Stanionis Moves Beyond Prospect Status With a Unanimous Decision Over Thomas Dulorme
Undefeated welterweight prospect and former Lithuanian Olympian Eimantas Stanionis (13-0 with 9 KOs) took a big step in his young career Saturday night by winning a unanimous decision over Puerto Rican veteran, and two-time title contender, Thomas Dulorme (25-5-1 with16 KOs).
Dulorme, a former hot prospect himself (who has arguably underachieved in his boxing career) got off to a quick start, showing fast hands and good footwork. Known for coming out fast, Dulorme didn’t disappoint. Considering the Puerto Rican contender had won only one of his last four fights, he looked both fresh and sharp in rounds 1-3.
Stanionis finally started to press Dulorme in the fourth with a consistent left jab that led to a left hook that appeared to briefly buckle Dulorme’s knees midway through the round. Dulorme’s movement slowed in the fifth and Stanionis took advantage with a series of pinpoint jabs and hooks. Dulorme outworked Stanionis in the seventh, but the Lithuanian’s constant pressure and power jab began to pay dividends over the back half of the fight. Stanionis closed the twelfth round with force and briefly had Dulorme in trouble before the final bell rang.
While Dulorme stayed active and game, the relentless pressure of Stanionis rightly won over the judges, who awarded the victory to him by scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111. Stanionis’ upward trajectory continues, and while Dulorme was certainly competitive, it would appear his career may now be relegated to stepping stone status for other young up-and-coming fighters.