It’s high time that Jerwin Ancajas moved up to a higher weight division.
The idea became more evident after the Filipino challenger lost in the same fashion as his first meeting with Fernando Martinez, who dominated the bout to win via unanimous decision six months ago.
In their rematch on Saturday, Ancajas started hot and gamely traded punches with the champion, but lost steam midway and eventually dropped a similar unanimous decision loss at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The bout was give-and-take between the two protagonists, but Ancajas began to fade in the 7th round, after suffering a cut on his forehead due to an accidental headbutt.
Fatigue started to set in as Ancajas, whose ageing body has been battling to keep itself competitive in the 115-pound limit, showed limited movements in the 8th round as Martinez continued to be the aggressor the rest of the way.
After 12 rounds, Ancajas suffered his third loss in his career against 33 victories (22 knockouts).
Martinez improved to 15-0, with 8 KOs.
Another Filipino boxer in the undercard, though, saved the day for the Philippines, which remained without a world boxing champion.
Eumir Felix Marcial, who gave the Philippines a bronze medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, battled his taller American foe Steven Pichardo with a cut above his right eye, thereby hindering his vision, but still recorded his third straight win as a professional.
Using the skills and power he honed through his long experience in elite amateur boxing, the Zamboanga native still managed to dominate their six-round bout and rendered Pichardo’s third loss in 12 fights.
Marcial sustained the cut following a clash of heads in the second round.
Six months ago during his second pro fight, Marcial was knocked down three times before coming with a knockout of his own to stop Isiah Hart in Round 4.
In a social media interview, Marcial’s trainer Jorge Capetillo still praised Marcial for being calm and collected despite the ordeal that hampered his movements and vision.
“I think it was a great performance, he improved a lot. I think he was more calm, using the distance,” said Capetillo in a Youtube interview with Cesi Marie.
“All these tests definitely will make him a better fighter. A fighter who already got dropped, already got cut, already got the experience to go the rounds makes him a better fighter,” Capetillo was quoted as saying.
Judges James Green, Ivan Guillermo, and Ellis Johnson scored the fight, 60-54, all in favor of Marcial.
Marcial is set to rejoin his teammates in the national team at the training camp of the Alliance of Boxing Associations of the Philippines to prepare for the Asian Championship in Jordan.
In his Facebook post, Marcial thanked all his supporters.
“Maraming salamat sa Diyos sa kaligtasan at panalo na ipinagkaloob sa akin. Maraming salamat din sa lahat ng Pinoy na nagdasal at pumunta sa laban ko,” Marcial said.