Fernando Martinez pulled off a shocker in upsetting Jerwin Ancajas. Photo by Stephanie Trapp/ SHOWTIME
News reached The Ring that IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Fernando Martinez will face Jerwin Ancajas in a direct rematch on Oct. 8 in Los Angeles.
Martinez (14-0, 8 knockouts), who is rated No. 4 by The Ring at 115 pounds, was largely unknown outside his home country of Argentina until he upset Ancajas by 12-round unanimous decision in February.
However, the newly minted titleholder was a standout amateur and represented his country all over the world. Martinez appeared in the World Series of Boxing and the 2016 Olympics before turning professional in 2017. He won his first nine fights, all in Argentina, before venturing to South Africa to stop Athenkosi Dumezweni (TKO 11).
The pandemic limited the 31-year-old to just one fight a year in 2020 and 2021. But when Martinez received his title opportunity, he made the most of it by out-fighting Ancajas in his U.S. debut.
Ancajas, who is rated No. 8 by The Ring, blamed his poor performance on the weight cut. The ex-titleholder had a rematch clause and decided to invoke it rather than making the move to bantamweight.
Ancajas, 30, won the IBF title by defeating McJoe Arroyo (UD 12) in September 2016 and made nine successful defenses. He holds wins over Teiru Kinoshita (TKO 7), Jamie Conlan (TKO 6) and Israel Gonzalez (TKO 10). The popular Filipino fought on the road regularly, competing in Macau, Australia, Ireland, the U.S. and Mexico. His record is 33-2-2 (22 KOs).