Too strong, too classy

May 05, 2019
Jerwin Ancajas & Ryuichi Funai
Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines approaches Ryuichi Funai of Japan with a left hook during their 12-round Super Flyweight IBF World Title fight in Stockton, California. Ancajas defended his title for the seventh time with a TKO over Funai who absorbed punishment until round 7 when the ringside physician ordered the ref to stop the fight. AFP/Frederic J. BROWN

Ancajas stops Funai in 7th round, retains IBF crown.

JERWIN Ancajas proved too strong as he crushed Japanese challenger Ryuichi Funai on the way to a 7th round stoppage to keep his International Boxing Federation super-flyweight title on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) in California.

In a sheer display of fine form that enabled him to post an amazing 17-win streak earlier, Ancajas dominated Funai throughout the fight, pummeling the Japanese challenger with powerful punches right in the first four rounds at the Stockton Arena.

So devastating were the Filipino’s punches that Funai had to be checked by ring doctors twice in between rounds.

Action slowed a little bit in the ensuing fifth round but Ancajas was still unrelenting in both ends.

Ancajas then completed his fine job with a barrage of punches in the sixth round, forcing fight officials to stop the bout for a technical knockout win for the Filipino champion.

Ancajas has now retained his 115-lbs title for the seventh time and improved his record to 31-1-2 win-loss-draw (with 21 Kos).

The Japanese, a first-time world title challenger, was at his best only in the first three rounds as he was able to connect some solid jabs, thanks to his reach advantage.

That proved to be the only bright note for him as Ancajas went business in the fourth round where he delivered devastating punches that often caught Funai, who fought outside his homeland for the first time.

From there it was Ancajas making the show.

The Ancajas-Funai tussle was part of the card that also featured unbeaten IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev of Russia defending against American Radivoje Kalajdzic.

Ancajas, a 27-year-old southpaw who hails from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, was coming off a disappointing draw last September in Oakland against Mexico’s Alejandro Santiago Barrios.

On Sunday however, Ancajas made sure it won’t happen again by carefully handling his Japanese challenger all throughout.

"I was hard at work three weeks after my last fight with Santiago," Ancajas said

Acanjas, unbeaten in 18 fights dating to 2012, won the crown in 2016 by unanimous decision from Puerto Rico's McJoe Arroyo and has defended three times in each of the past two years.

Funai, 33, got his first world title bout after seven wins in a row over the past three years. Funai suffered his eight setback against 31 wins (22 knockouts).