Saturday, September 30, 2023  |



Jerwin Ancajas retains 115-pound title with 10th-round stoppage of Israel Gonzalez

Jerwin Ancajas lands a left hand against Israel Gonzalez during their first meeting in 2018. They will likely meet a second time after Gonzalez was named mandatory challenger. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Jerwin Ancajas might not be Manny Pacquiao, and then again, who is?

But Pacquiao’s fellow countryman sure did a great job of conjuring memories of the hall of fame fighter with his performance Saturday on ESPN at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 knockouts) dropped Israel Gonzalez once in the opening round, and twice more in the 10th round, the second of which finished off the Mexican at 1:50 to ensure the IBF junior bantamweight title remained around the Filipino’s waist.

It was a dominating performance in Ancajas’s American debut, and now that he’s linked up with Top Rank (and co-promoted by Pacquiao), there’s big plans for “Pretty Boy” in the stacked 115-pound division.

“If I can achieve a little bit of the success [Pacquiao] achieved,” said Ancajas, “I’ll be very happy.”

The 26-year-old southpaw knocked the untested Gonzalez (21-2, 8 KOs) to the canvas with a left hand in Round 1, and it was that money punch that closed the show, too. First, it was a picture-perfect straight left hand that separated Gonzalez from his senses in Round 10, and moments later, a powerful left hook planted him on the canvas for good.

Ancajas appears to be the goods, a budding star in the making, but he needs to measure himself against the best of the division.

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez was knocked from his perch atop the division in September by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and the Thai fighter will vie for THE RING’s vacant junior bantamweight championship later this month against Juan Francisco Estrada in the
main event of Superfly 2.

“Those guys are at the top of my division, I look at myself a bit lower than them,” he said. “But I’m trying to get there.”

He certainly appears well on his way.


Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger