General Admission

Ancajas is Pacquiao’s worthy replacement

By Al S. Mendoza


THE Sunday punch came this time from Jerwin Ancajas.

He is no Manny “PacMan” Pacquiao but the way Ancajas delivered his blows was something to be thrilled about, too.

There was no razzle-dazzle a la Pacquiao, yes, but Ancajas is still truly a class of his own.

He is methodical.  He is scientific.  He is patient.

All three virtues weren’t in Pacquiao’s arsenal.

Even in PacMan’s heyday, he had none of those qualities.

And now that he is 39, Father Time has slowed him down.

It showed in his defeat to Jeff Horn in Brisbane, Australia on July 2 2017.

In that fight that saw him lose his world welterweight crown, Pacquiao had obviously lost his killer instinct.

He simply succumbed to the pangs of aging.

At 38, Pacquiao had been dulled by Father Time, not to include the wear and tear of 60-plus fights since he turned pro some 20 years or so ago.

In his prime from his 20s to early 30s, Pacquiao was literally a wrecking crew, a killer machine with a chain saw attached to his fists.

He beat them all—the best of the best in the eight world divisions that he has ruled with impunity.

Ruthless and almost merciless, Pacquiao was the epitome of a fighter that spared no quarters.

If he were a soldier unleashed to fulfill a mission, he would never take no prisoners; all would be killed in his wrath.

Ancajas doesn’t have those brutal qualities but that does not diminish his ring savvy, skills and innate talent.

The Panabo City-born Ancajas does things differently, but with the same ending.

He doesn’t hurry up things a la Pacquiao.

Ancajas dishes it off in a surgical fashion:  Careful not to miss even the minutest detail of a major operation.

When Ancajas fought challenger Israel Gonzalez of Mexico on February 4 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he immediately displayed a carpenter-like patience:  Careful up to the last millimeter on a piece of wood being measured or sawed off.

In the first round alone, Ancajas was merely going through the motions.

He was sizing up things, like a carpenter figuring out the house he will build in 12 days or less.

But at the outset, the house that was Gonzalez proved chicken feed.

Gonzalez strayed into hammer territory in seconds of the first round and got smashed by a left to the face. Knockdown.

Gonzalez would rise.  But he was never the same again.

Now, if Gonzalez had a Pacquiao for a foe that night, he would have been quickly pinned to the ropes with machinegun punches.  Knockout in two.

Not Ancajas, though.

Displaying trademark, if not torturous, patience, Ancajas would end it longer than expected.

He needed nine more rounds—a terrible ordeal, indeed, for Gonzales—before he would end it.

Thus, in the 10th round, Ancajas would deck Gonzalez a second time with a left to the face.

The 21-year-old Mexican would get up, yes, only to be floored again by another left to the face.

As quickly as the third knockdown came, Puerto Rican referee Rafael Ramos waved Gonzalez out for a knockout loss in one minute 50 seconds of the fateful 10th.

It was Ancajas’s 29th win against a lone defeat and one draw, scoring his 20th knockout in the process against Gonzalez, whose card dropped to 20-2, with 8 KOs.

With his fourth successful defense of his world super flyweight (115 lb) crown, expect more fireworks from Ancajas, who, at 26, is sure to capture more fame—and fortune—in the years to come.

If Pacquiao should finally retire—and he must, before it’s too late—he has Ancajas as more than a worthy replacement.

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