Martinez blasts Ancajas anew

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Argentina’s undefeated Fernando Martinez retained the International Boxing Federation junior bantamweight title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila), defeating former champion Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines by unanimous decision.

Martinez defended the crown he took from Ancajas in February by judges’ scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110 in the championship rematch at Carson, California.

“This was a validation of the first fight,” Martinez said through a translator.

“Definitely the training was very hard. I prepared really well.”

Martinez improved to 15-0 while Filipino southpaw Ancajas fell to 33-3 with two draws and 22 knockouts.

“I’m ready for anyone. My record shows I’m a champion,” Martinez said.

The South American fighter found defending a world crown for the first time harder than winning it for the first time.

“It’s harder definitely to maintain that hunger and maintain the title,” he said.

They combined to throw more than 1,400 punches in the 12-round affair.

Martinez took the IBF crown in the 115-pound division from Ancajas in February with a unanimous-decision victory at Las Vegas, snapping the Filipino fighter’s 21-bout, decade-long unbeaten streak.

Ancajas, who made nine successful defenses of the title he won in 2016, invoked a rematch clause for a chance to reclaim the crown.

Ancajas, a year younger than the champion at 30, pressed the attack in the fourth and fifth rounds while Martinez dominated the sixth with a flurry of combinations.

An accidental headbutt suffered by Ancajas briefly stopped the fight in the seventh round but both fighters were swiftly swinging by the time the round ended.

Martinez tangled his legs with those of Ancajas late in the 11th round and tumbled to the canvas but it was quickly waved off as not a knockdown, something neither fighter has suffered in his pro career.

“My record shows that I’m a champion but it doesn’t show the intensity that I have in my fights,” Martinez said.

“Now, I can buy the house that my mother needs.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *