Though IBF super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas may have been the most dominant champion at 115 pounds, his reign almost ended against a surprise opponent.
In the co-main event of the September 28 boxing card streamed on ESPN+ from the Oracle Arena in California, Ancajas fought Alejandro Santiago to a split draw. With one judge scoring the fight 116-112 in favor for Ancajas, one judge giving Santiago a 118-111 score and a third judge scoring the fight even at 114-114, Ancajas was able to retain the title.
The fight saw Santiago surprise Ancajas, and the crowd, with numerous right hooks landing on the champion. Santiago at times would outbox the smaller Ancajas, who seemingly did not have much of an answer for some of Santiago's best shots. Despite this, Ancajas was able to win rounds with his straight left hand.
The fight wasn't just extremely close in the scorecards but in the stats sheet as well. According to Compubox, Ancajas landed 127 of 589 total punches (22 percent) while Santiago connect on 108 punches out of 519 (21 percent).
Strangely enough, a draw is nothing new for Santiago. In fact, this is not even the second or third time Santiago has had a fight finish in a draw in the last couple of years. In his 10 fights dating back to the start of 2016, the 22-year-old Santiago has six victories and four draws, with two of those draws happening in his last two fights. Santiago is undefeated in his last 12 fights.
Ancajas' win streak may be over, but his title reign remains, marking this fight the sixth successful title defense for the Filipino champion. Ancajas first won the belt back in 2016 with a unanimous decision victory over McJoe Arroyo. Ancajas previously defended the title twice this year, both on ESPN cards.