After being disappointed with his last couple of outings, Jerwin Ancajas set out to make a statement against Ryuichi Funai and he may have done just that with his most recent title defense.
Ancajas stopped Funai in the seventh round of their fight to retain his IBF super flyweight title in Stockton, California as the opening fight of the May 4 Top Rank on ESPN telecast. This was Ancajas' seventh world title defense, continuing his reign as the 115-pound division's longest-reigning champion today.
The fight was mostly one-sided as Ancajas' sharp left hand disrupted Funai's attempts to get any offense going in the early portion of the fight. The fight really started to turn in Ancajas' favor in the fourth round when he landed a series of punches that hurt Funai and pushed him back. This opened up the door for Ancajas to constantly punish his Japanese opponent for the remainder of the fight as Funai's face bruised, battered and dealing with a cut.
Right as the seventh round began, a ringside physician took a look at Funai and ruled that he is not able to continue fighting, awarding Ancajas the victory.
After the fight, Ancajas said he was very happy with his performance and in response to some his past, lackluster performances, the IBF champion revealed he had made changes in his camp and those changes resulted in a fitter, stronger Ancajas that can stay fighting at super flyweight for years to come.
"Funai has a champion’s heart. He took my best punches. I have nothing but respect for him. This was the best training camp I had in a very long time. We changed some things in training and we hired a nutritionist, which helped me make the weight a lot easier. That showed in the ring tonight. I felt great at 115 pounds, and I will be able to make that weight for a long time," Ancajas said.
This was Ancajas' fifth stoppage win in his last seven fights, but first since stopping Israel Gonzalez in the 10th round back in February 2018. This was also Ancajas' first win since May 2018 since his last fight against Alejandro Santiago Barrios last September ended in a draw.