April 23, 2024

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Jerwin Ancajas reflects on 1st KO loss, vows comeback after Inoue defeat

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STILL THE CHAMP. Japanese Takuma Inoue scores a ninth-round knockout victory over Filipino boxer Jerwin Ancajas to defend his WBA world bantamweight title in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night, February 24, 2024. TAKUMA INOUE TWITTER PHOTO

Jerwin Ancajas sat in his corner, his body aching and his spirit broken. The sting of defeat was new to him, the first time he had ever been knocked out in his illustrious career. 

The pain, both physical and emotional, was evident in his words as he opened up on the devastating loss of Takuma Inoue who successfully defended his WBA world bantamweight belt in Tokyo, Japan on Saturday night, February 24, 2024.

The Filipino warrior, a former world super flyweight champion, had faced adversity in recent years, suffering back-to-back losses after nine successful defenses of his IBF world super flyweight title. 

The latest defeat, a ninth-round knockout at the hands of Inoue, left Ancajas searching for answers.

“I was so focused on hitting the body, but it was me who got hit in the body,” Ancajas said in a GMA news report, reflecting on the fatal flaw that led to his downfall. 

His strategy had backfired, and the consequence was a brutal body shot that left him gasping for air and unable to continue.

Ancajas, at 32 years old and with 40 fights under his belt, found himself at a crossroads. The defeat had taken a toll on his confidence, and he admitted to feeling lost inside the ring,  questioning the decline in his skills during actual bouts compared to sparring sessions.

Despite the low morale and shattered confidence, Ancajas remained resilient. 

He entrusted his future to his trainer and manager, Joven Jimenez, and MP Promotions President Sean Gibbons. 

The fighter who had once dominated the super flyweight division was now humbled, willing to surrender control and seek guidance on the path ahead.

The defeat had broader implications for the Philippines, leaving the nation without a world champion once again. 

Ancajas joined the ranks of fallen Filipino fighters, a list that included Jonas Sultan, who suffered a first-round knockout in the undercard.

The bout between Ancajas and Inoue had been a back-and-forth contest, a tactical duel that turned into a brawl in the middle rounds. 

Ancajas had shown his resilience, pushing Inoue around the ring and engaging in a phone booth fight. 

However, it was Inoue who found the opening in the ninth round, delivering a lethal right to Ancajas’ liver and securing the victory.

As the Japanese champion successfully defended his WBA bantamweight belt, the Filipino warrior contemplated his future. 

The sport had given Ancajas fame and success, but it had also delivered harsh lessons. The night in Tokyo marked a turning point in his career, a moment of reflection and a search for redemption.

In the broader context of the fight night, other Japanese fighters celebrated victories. Kosei Tanaka won the vacant WBO super flyweight title, while Junto Nakatani captured the WBC bantamweight title. The contrasting fates of fighters on the same card highlighted the unpredictable nature of boxing, where one punch could change the course of a career.

As Ancajas left the arena with his head held high, the journey was far from over. The heart of a warrior still beat within him, and the lessons learned from defeat would shape the chapters yet to be written in his storied career.

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