In the telecast opener, IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (31-1-2, 22 KOs) successfully defended his title for the ninth time with a unanimous decision victory over Jonathan Rodríguez (21-2, 16 KOs) in an action-packed 12-round affair. The victory extends Ancajas’ streak of consecutive title defenses to nine, which marks the most of any current world champion. Fighting out of the Philippines, the 29-year-old controlled the pace of the fight with a consistent dedication to the body, where he landed 131 of his 232 total punches.
The title fight featured back-and-forth action with Mexico’s Rodriguez pressuring and baiting the champion to fight him at close distance. At the end of the eighth round, Ancajas finished a flurry of punches with a huge right hand that sent Rodriguez to the canvas for the first time in his career.
The ringside judges scored the fight 115-112, 116-111 and 117-110 for Ancajas, while unofficial ringside scorer Steve Farhood tallied the fight at 114-113. Farhood agreed with the three official judges in giving the final three rounds to Rodriguez. Despite dropping the decision, the 25-year-old Rodriguez impressed fight fans with his tremendous determination and high-level skill in his first world title fight and U.S. debut.