Ryan Songalia reports at The RING that Jerwin Ancajas will finally return to defend his IBF junior bantamweight title and Mark Magsayo will also be in action on Showtime’s April 10 card, headlined by a welterweight bout between top prospect Jaron Ennis and former 140-pound titlist Sergey Lipinets.
Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KO) will face long-waiting mandatory challenger Jonathan Rodriguez (22-1, 16 KO), a 25-year-old Mexican whose best win came in June 2019 over Felipe Orucuta. He fought in December, tuning up with a first round knockout win over Julian Yedras in Monterrey, Mexico.
Ancajas, 29, won the IBF belt in 2016, beating McJoe Arroyo, and has made eight successful defenses, but has never gotten into the mix with the top 115-pound fighters in the world, unfortunately becoming something of an afterthought compared to those really sign as the best in the division like Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Chocolatito Gonzalez, and Kazuto Ioka, who also hasn’t fought any of the other three but has years of multi-division title reigns to bolster his resume.
Ancajas went to a disappointing draw with Alejandro Santiago in 2018, then returned in May 2019 to beat Ryuichi Funai, who was tailor-made for Ancajas to look good, and then trounced Miguel Gonzalez in Dec. 2019. He’s a very good fighter and will be the favorite here.
25-year-old featherweight Magsayo (21-0, 14 KO) will look to get some momentum back after his Oct. 2020 win over crafty Rigoberto Hermosillo. It was a split decision where the rather hyped prospect struggled despite the absurd 100-90 score card from California judge Rudy Barragan, which was honestly two times worse than Carlos Sucre’s much-maligned and SUSPENSION!!-worthy 117-111 Estrada card from this past weekend, but Barragan’s card happened on an FS1 PBC show that nobody watched so it didn’t raise much fuss.
In April, Magsayo will face Pablo Cruz (21-3, 6 KO), a 34-year-old from Houston nicknamed “The Lethal Mosquito,” which is an excellent nickname but on paper a step back from Hermosillo, who is a really good prospect checker. It might also be the right move for Magsayo.