A BOXER from Panabo City just made the country proud after defending his title against Mexican challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez via a seventh round injury stoppage at the Cotai Arena, Venetian Hotel in Macau, China Sunday night.
Jerwin Juntilla Ancajas’ fight may not be as hyped up as Miss Philippines Maxine Medina's Miss Universe 2016 bid but he successfully defended his International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Super Flyweight title.
"Lipay kaayo Mam kay na suklian ang among hago ug sakripisyo (I am so happy that our hard work and sacrifices paid off)," Ancajas said in a Facebook interview with SunStar Davao Monday, January 30.
The 25-year-old father of two boys, Jhinijie Kyrie, three years old, and 20-month-old JJ Kyle, said it was difficult being away from his Cavite-based family for one month while he was seriously preparing for the biggest fight of his career so far.
Ancajas, who is from Panabo City and a product of the Barangay Una Boxing Team of Davao del Norte founded by Representative Tonyboy Floirendo, trained for three months to be in his best fighting form. He did not disappoint himself and the rest of the Filipinos around the world.
"Wala jud ko nag-expect, ang ako lang jud gisunod ko lang ang plano sa akong coach Mam na dili dalion (I really did not expect it. I just obeyed what my coach said to take it slow)," Ancajas said, admitting that he had a hard time at the start as Rodriguez was aggressively attacking him.
The Filipino's solid punches left the Mexican unfit to continue as the doctor ruled that the latter's shoulder was severely hurt.
The Panaboan unleashed powerful combinations to the Mexican's body followed by a powerful right hook just right after the bell rang in the second round.
Ancajas, who improved his record to 27-1-1 with 17 knockouts, however, continued to hit Rodriguez with power jab-straights before the fight was stopped. The latter's record dropped to 32 wins, zero draw and five KOs.
Even if a TKO didn't come, Ancajas would still had won all rounds of the fight.
"Wala gihapon ko nagkumpyansa maski naa na siya ginainda sa iyahang abaga (I didn't take my opponent lightly even though I noticed that his shoulder was already hurt)," he said, thankful that he was not hurt at any point during his fight.
"Kaloy-an sa Ginoo, wala man pud ko nasakitan (By God's grace I wasn't hurt)," he added.
The Panaboan boxer also said the cheers of his fans inside the arena motivated him to fight on, saying, "Tingog sa mga fans pod ang makadasig maski kapoy nako. Dako kaayo'g tabang ang tingog sa fans (The fans' voices gave me a boost although I am tired. They really helped me a lot)."
The Manila-bound Ancajas of the Top Contender Gym Stable earned his biggest paycheck of USD $40,000 in his first title defense.
Going home to his wife Ruth and their two boys, however, was all he could think of at the moment. "Sila ra jud akong mga inspirasyon (They are my inspiration)." He plans to stay with them in his planned two-week break before he returns to training camp.