IBF world super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas (left) and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.
UNDISPUTED International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas was voted as this year’s Fighter of the Year by the Fight News Asia.
Ancajas (28W-1L-1D, 19 KOs) of the Philippines was chosen for successfully defending his title three times in 2017. He previously retained his title via a 6th round TKO win against previously unbeaten Jamie Conlan (19-0) last Nov. 18 at The SSE Arena, Belfast, Ireland. Conlan was downed once in Rounds 1, 3, 4, and 6.
Ancajas first defended his title by retiring Mexican Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in the 7th round last January 29 at Cotai Arena, Venetian Resot, Macao. In his next defense, Ancajas stopped Japanese challnger Teiru Kinoshita by a 7th round TKO on July 2 in the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn title-fight held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia.
Ancajas, a native of Panabo City, Davao del Norte was a runner-up to last year’s FNA Fighter of the Year Manny Pacquiao.
Ancajas’s runners-up for 2017 are Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (Wisaksil Wangek) and Wanheng Menayothin (Chayaphon Moonsri) both from Thailand.
Rungvisai (44W-4L-1D, 40 KOs) won the WBC World super flyweight title by a dethroning Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales of Nicaragua via a majority decision last March 18 at the Madison Square Garden in New York. He retained it by knocking out Gonzales in the 4th round during their rematch held Sept. 9 at the StubHub Center in Carson, USA.
Menayothin (49W-0L, 17 KOs), on the other hand, successfully defended his WBC world minimumweight crown for the 8th time by beating Japanese challenger Tatsuya Fukuhara by UD in Thailand to tie the unbeaten record of Rocky Marciano (49-0).
He also defended his title three times this year all by UDs against Melvin Jerusalem, Omari Kimweri and Fukuhara in Thailand.
FEMALE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR
Japanese Naoko Fujioka (17W-2L-0D, 7 KOs) of Japan is the top Female Fighter of the Year for winning two separate world titles in 2017.
She first won the vacant WBA World Female flyweight title via a 10th round TKO against Mexico’s Isabel Millan(19W-4L-1, 8 KOs) last March 13 at the Korakuen Hall in Japan.
The 42-year old Fujioka then captured the vacant WBO World Female light flyweight title by a UD against Costa Rica’s Yokasta Valle (13W-0L, 6 KOs) last December 1 at the Korakuen Hall.
FIGHT OF THE YEAR
The championship fight of defending WBO world welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao against Jeff Horn held July 21 at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia is the Fight of the Year.
It is also one of the big upsets after the early favorite Pacquiao lost by a controversial unanimous decision to Horn.
KNOCKOUT OF THE YEAR
The 4th round knockout win by WBC World super flyweight by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand against former world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzales of Nicaragua last Sept. 9 held at the Stubhub Center in Carson, USA in his first title-defense.
Rungvisai also earned the Upset of the Year for dethroning Gonzales earlier in their first encounter via a Majority Decision last March 18 at the Madison Square Garden in New York.
PROSPECTS OF THE YEAR
WBO Asia Pacific Youth light flyweight champion Vince “El Castigo” Paras (13-0, 11 KOs) of the Philippines remained unbeaten by stopping former undefeated PH national team member Aldren Moreno (3-0) in the 7th round KO last Dec. 17 at the Robinson’s Mall Atrium, General Santos City.
WBC Youth Intercontinental lightweight champion Romero “Ruthless” Duno (15W-1L-0D, 13 KOs) of Sanman Stable in Gen. Santos City has won all his three fights in 2017 including two in the US.
Duno captured his title by a 2nd round knockout win against Mexican Christian Gonzales last March 10 at Belasco Theater, Los Angeles. He followed up his US campaign with a unanimous decision against another Mexican Juan Pablo Sanchez last Sept. 23 at The Forum in Inglewood. Duno will next see action on January 27 also at the Forum.
PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Japanese promoter Hitoshi Watanabe of Watanabe Promotions in Japan had a double world title fight last July 23 at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan featuring IBF World Minimumweight and WBA World Light Flyweight titles.
His upcoming promotion is a quadruple world championship featuring a IBF World Light Flyweight/WBA Super World Light Flyweight Title, WBO World Flyweight Title and IBF World Minimumweight Titles.
Co-Promoters of the Year are Thailand’s Piyarat Vachirarattanawong of Petpiya Fight and Hong Kong’s No. 1 promoter Jay Lau of DEF Promotions.
Piyarat had a total of 12 promotions all in Thailand including four world title fights with three title-defenses of WBC World minimumweight champion Wanheng Menayothin aka Chayaphon Moonsri (49W-0L, 17 KOs).
Lau, on the other hand, had three big promotions this year including his previous card last October 7 featuring three championships – WBO International super flyweight, vacant WBO Oriental Super Featherweight title and vacant WBO Asia Pacific Super Bantamweight Female title.
TRAINER OF THE YEAR
Joven Jimenez for the successful three title-defenses of Jerwin Ancajas this year and for Mark Anthony Barriga’s five straight wins in 2017 including his winning the vacant WBO International minimumweight title by a UD against Wittawas Basapean last Sept. 29 in Beijing.
Last year’s Trainer of the Year was Joven Jorda of Highland Boxing Gym, who is currently now in Thailand.
This year’s runner-up is former US and China-based Ninolito Jalnaiz, trainer of OPBF super featherweight champion Carlo “Ferocious” Magali, who is now slated to defend his title against Masatoshi Kotani (22-2-0) on January 13 at the Korakuen Hall inn Japan.
MATCHMAKER OF THE YEAR
Warren Elliot of Japan has worked most of the world title fights in Japan this year including the upcoming quadruple world championship card on December 31.