It may just be another title defense in the eyes of some, but Jerwin Ancajas' 10th defense of his IBF junior bantamweight crown ushers the Filipino champion to a historic milestone.
If Ancajas beats Argentinian slugger Daniel Fernando Martinez in Las Vegas on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time), he will tie the record of the late great Gabriel "Flash" Elorde for the most number of successful title defenses in a single weight class.
"May tinutumbok na kasaysayan si Jerwin Ancajas... he will be matching the record of Gabriel Flash Elorde for the most title defenses in a singular title reign," said boxing analyst Ed Tolentino.
Tolentino said Elorde was the first Filipino to have defended his junior lightweight crown 10 times from 1960 to 1967.
If Ancajas beats Martinez, he will duplicate that feat in a shorter time frame.
"Itong kay Jerwin Ancajas, nakuha niya ang title noong 2016, so makakuha niya ito in 6 years. Mas maigsing panahon. Kundi lang nakaroon ng pandemic, dapat mas maaga pa niyang nabreak ang record na ito," said Tolentino.
Another boxing analyst said Ancajas will also join the company of other boxing greats in the all-time consecutive title defenses.
"If manalo si Jerwin Ancajas, lalagpasan niya si Sung Kil Moon sa number 4 in most number of consecutive title defenses the junior bantamweight division," Dennis Principe said.
Thai legend Khaosai Galaxy holds the record with 19 title defenses, followed by Mexico's Johnny Tapia with 13, and Omar Narvaez of Argentina with 11.
Principe added that Ancajas will also be listed among top Filipino greats like Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire who made 10 title defenses in multiple weight classes.
"Si Donnie Nietes naman ang may hawak ng record with 14 successful title defenses," said Principe.
Bothe analysts believe the Ancajas versus Martinez fight will be a battle between an experienced tactician and a young slugger-brawler.
"Itong Fernando Martinez, naghahanap siya ng matinding sapakan. Ang kanyang atake ay isang magandang left hook at pamatay na overhand na kanan... 'yung clubbing overhand right," said Tolentino.
"Pero ang kanyang style medyo unpolished pa... He's more of an action fighter."
It will be a perfect match for Ancajas, said Principe.
"Ang mga tactical fighters na tulad ni Jerwin, 'yan ang gusto nilang laban 'yung pasok ng pasok. It's something na papabor kay Jerwin," he said.
"Tailor fit itong si Martinez kay Jerwin."