IT was nearly a disastrous defense for Jerwin Ancajas (30-1, 20 KOs) yesterday as he found himself fighting till the last second to keep his IBF superflyweight title.

From most accounts I read, he was fortunate to get a split draw verdict against Alejandro Santiago Barrios (16-2, 7 KOs) as the latter brought the heat and controlled the action for majority of the fight.

Luckily, a split draw means “Pretty Boy” gets to keep his belt.

STYLE. Once again, the “styles makes fights” aphorism held true as Ancajas seemingly could not figure out Santiago’s fighting style and was tagged repeatedly with clean, eye-catching shots.

Ancajas landed bombs of his own but Santiago took them well and didn’t seem hurt at any point during the bout.

Santiago’s approach was a textbook lesson for fighters of smaller stature trying to get inside a taller opponent. Of course, it was his speed that made this possible as it negated or at the very least compensated for Ancajas’ reach advantage.

ANCAJAS. In all probability, if a rematch were to take place in the near future Jerwin will fare a lot better.

I think he underestimated Santiago who only had a middling record and fought to a draw in his last fight against Jose Martinez (their second).

Santiago had nothing to lose in there and gave the performance of his life against a champion touted to be one of the future superstars of the lower weight divisions.

For Jerwin, it’s back to the drawing board. He might also have been too eager to turn in a spectacular performance to make up for an underwhelming one against fellow Pinoy Jonas Sultan in his last fight.

He was often wild with his lunges, and clearly bent on a stoppage finish.

The more conservative approach would have been to break down Santiago over the course of the fight and let the knockout opportunity come, instead of forcing it.

Well, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20.

VERBATIM. “I had a slow couple of years and people forgot about me, but I’ve proved tonight that I am worthy of being seen as number one in the world.” - Callum Smith, newly crowned WBA super middleweight champion.

LAST ROUND. It’s on Nino Ibo (DJ Onin), who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!