MANILA -- On paper, it appears that Mexican banger Jonathan Javier Rodriguez would give Filipino champion Jerwin Ancajas a formidable challenge this weekend.
The mandatory challenger for Ancajas' IBF junior bantamweight title has stopped five of his last six opponents and is very much hungry to win the crown.
But according to boxing analysts Atty. Ed Tolentino and Nissi Icasiano, Rodriguez has not fought anyone like the "Pretty Boy" of Panabo City, Davao Del Norte.
"On paper, his opponent looks phenomenal. But the Mexican hasn't fought someone of the same caliber as Jerwin," noted Icasiano.
Tolentino pointed out that Ancajas is a more technical fighter than the Mexican who has a tendency to "telegraph" his punches.
"Rodriguez loves to throw a left hook-right uppercut combination, but the punches are thrown in telegraphed, almost agonizing fashion, making his offense very readable for a good counterpuncher like Ancajas," he said.
Tolentino added Rodriguez' KO streak is nothing to be afraid of.
"Rodriguez is 21-1 and on a six-fight winning streak, but three of the victories came against opponents with losing records," Tolentino noted.
"One victim, Emmanuel Zuniga, showed up in the ring with a win-loss record of 3-16."
The last time Ancajas fought was in December 2019, when he stopped Miguel Gonzalez.
But the layoff won't likely affect Ancajas, Icasiano said, since he virtually did not stop training.
"'Di naman lumiban sa ensayo ang tulad ni Jerwin bago pa man pumutok itong pandemic. When he flew to the US in the third quarter of 2020, I believe, he just picked up where he left off," he said.
"Training in the US kept him on his toes. He has lesser distractions and a good selection of training partners."