Ancajas title defense canceled as opponent runs into visa issues

Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas | photo

The anticipated fight between Filipino boxer Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas and Mexican fighter Jonathan Javier Rodriguez on Saturday, November 2 has been canceled after Rodriguez did not get a U.S. visa in time.

Ancajas, the 115-pound fighting pride of the Philippines, was set for the eighth defense of his IBF junior bantamweight world title on Saturday at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The 27-year-old Ancajas (31-1-1, 21 KOs) is one of boxing’s longest-reigning and most active champions, as only two current world champions (Deontay Wilder and Wanheng Menayothin) have more title defenses.

The dynamic Filipino southpaw won the title in September 2016 and defended his belt three times apiece in 2017 and 2018. He last fought May 4 in Stockton, California, knocking out Ryuichi Funai in six rounds.

Rodriguez (21-1, 15 KOs) was considered as a dangerous foe because has won five in a row since a split-decision defeat spoiled his unbeaten record. He is coming off a career-best win June 7 in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, when he knocked out former two-time world title challenger Felipe Orucuta in the 10th round.

 Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions and Peltz Boxing, the fight was supposed to be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) on Saturday night.

Ancajas, who has been in the U.S. to prepare, said he will remain in the country to continue training for a fight that may be rescheduled for December 7 in Mexico.

“Well, it (cancellation) happens. Maybe God has other plans for me. Anyway, my boxing [career] is far from over,” the boxer told Rappler.

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