Ancajas retains title with draw

Jerwin Ancajas of the Philippines defended his junior bantamweight title for the sixth time but had to settle for a draw in his fight with Alejandro Santiago on Friday night at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

“Pretty Boy” and Santiago fought a scrappy contest that the judges saw entirely differently. One judge had it 116-112 for Ancajas, one scored it 118-111 for Santiago and one had 114-114.

“It was a good, entertaining fight. My timing was a little off. He was a little awkward,” Ancajas, 26, said. “I felt like I pressed the fight and did enough to win. I still want all the champions at 115 [pounds]. Nothing has changed.”

His Mexican opponent had a different viewpoint.

“Everyone saw the fight, and everyone saw that I won the fight clearly,” Santiago said.

The action picked up late in the second round when Ancajas and Santiago traded toe-to-toe, both men getting nailed with solid punches, one of which appeared to wobble Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KOs) just before the bell.

It was competitive all the way with both fighters landing their share of shots, but Ancajas hit a little harder and landed a little cleaner than the 22-year-old Santiago.

The fight essentially came down to battle between the southpaw Ancajas’ straight left hand and Santiago’s overhand rights.

The CompuBox punch statistics illustrated just how close the fight was with Ancajas landing 127 of 589 blows (22 percent) and Santiago connecting with 108 of 519 (21 percent).

The draw ended a 17-fight winning streak for Ancajas and was the second consecutive fight in which the Filipino had been forced to go the distance following a unanimous verdict over compatriot Jonas Sultan in May.