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Phl boxing suffers double blackeye as Ancajas, Sultan fall

JERWIN Ancajas is a picture of devastation after getting knocked out by Takuma Inoue of Japan in their WBA bantamweight title fight in Tokyo last Saturday. | photograph by NICK GIONGCO for the Daily Tribune

TOKYO, Japan — Jerwin Ancajas’ dressing room had a funeral-like atmosphere moments after failing to become a world champion for the second time Saturday at the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena.

Wearing a canary yellow track suit, Ancajas, his back against the wall, told Manila-based scribes and a few members of his team how it felt being on the receiving end of Takuma Inoue’s blistering attack in their World Boxing Association bantamweight clash.

“I could also not understand why I was getting hit that often,” Ancajas said in a response posed by the DAILY TRIBUNE.

“It was so easy for him to score against me and it breaks my heart how he managed to make it look so easy,” said Ancajas after suffering a ninth-round knockout.

A shot to the body sent the Filipino southpaw down for the count, a finish that everyone at the venue was not expecting given Ancajas’ solid reputation as a durable fighter.

“First time I got knocked down with a body shot and it was really painful. I could not breathe and even though I tried to shake it off, I just could not. Until now, I could still feel the pain,” he said.

The stoppage defeat was Ancajas’ first.

His previous losses — two at the hands of Fernando Martinez of Argentina — were on points.

Still, it doesn’t appear that Ancajas has reached the end of the line.

Sean Gibbons, who promotes Ancajas, said he will sit down with the fallen fighter to determine what to do next.

The American dealmaker was crushed by Ancajas setback and what made it even more punishing was the fact that Jonas Sultan, Ancajas’ former foe and close friend, suffered the same fate in his eight-round encounter with Riku Masuda in the undercard.

Sultan, who had never lost by knockout, was surprisingly knocked out in the very first round after being caught with a shot to the liver.

“What happened last night was freakish…imagine two fighters losing on a body shot,” Gibbons said.

“There must be something in the water,” he added, using a hyperbole suggesting that somehow Philippine boxing had been afflicted with a curse that harrowing night a couple of days back.

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