A look back at some of the greatest rivalries ahead of the anticipated rematch between undefeated IBF 115-pound World Champ Fernando Martinez and former champ Jerwin Ancajas Saturday night on PBC on SHOWTIME.
An anticipated rematch is set to take place this Saturday, October 8 as undefeated IBF 115-pound World Champion Fernando Martinez takes on former champion Jerwin Ancajas in a Premier Boxing Champions event at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, live on SHOWTIME (10:00 pm ET/7:00 pm PT).
Ancajas, the former IBF Junior Bantamweight Champion, lost his world title to Martinez in February by spirited unanimous decision. Both fighters haven’t fought since.
In their first encounter, Martinez (14-0, 8 KOs), an Argentine Olympian, made the most of his first world title challenge, punishing the gritty Ancajas (32-2-2, 22 KOs) with combination after combination. He landed 421 power shots, a new division record, and 427 total punches to secure a decision victory. Who is likely to win the rematch? Here is what history tells us as we look back at the five most memorable rematches in PBC history:
5 TONY HARRISON VS. JERMELL CHARLO 2
Date: December 21, 2019
Location: Toyota Arena, Ontario
At stake: Harrison’s WBC Super Welterweight Title
Records: Harrison 28-2 (21 KOs), Charlo 32-1 (16 KOs)
Result: Charlo TKO 11 (2:28)
Summary: Charlo and Harrison battled for the first time in December 2018. Harrison was a 27-2 underdog going in against a long-time champion. After 12 rounds, Harrison had won a close decision, handing Charlo his first defeat which left a sour taste in the latter’s mouth.
Leading up to their rematch, the bad blood produced some of the most memorable trash talking in modern times. Fight fans couldn’t wait for what promised to be an early Christmas gift. Charlo backed up his talk, coming out swinging from the opening bell and unloading his arsenal. A left hook midway through the second round floored Harrison but the Detroit native composed himself and worked his way back into the fight, coming forward behind a high guard and focusing on Charlo’s midsection. Houston’s Charlo responded by mixing in boxing with brawling.
With the fight still up to grabs in the eleventh, Charlo showed his clutch gene once again, dropping Harrison with a left hook that drove him across the ring and nearly through the ropes. A series of left uppercuts led to the second knockdown of the round. While Charlo celebrated on the ropes, Harrison worked back to his feet, beating the count again, but it was clear he was badly hurt. Charlo closed the show by backing Harrison onto the ropes, uncorking lefts and rights that caused referee Jack Reiss to step in and called it off. Charlo had recaptured his WBC super welterweight crown in a thrilling fashion.
4 SUBRIEL MATIAS VS. PETROS ANANYAN 2
Date: January 22, 2022
Location: Borgata Hotel Casino, Atlantic City
At stake: No title
Records: Matias 17-1-0 (17 KOs), Ananyan 16-2-2 (7 KOs)
Result: Matias TKO 9 (3:00)
Summary: The first brawl between Matias and Ananyan occurred in February 2020. Ananyan shocked Matias by forcing a count in round seven and winning an upset unanimous decision, blemishing Matias’ perfect record. Both fighters fought other opponents before meeting two years later as Matias looked to avenge his only pro defeat.
Matias vowed revenge and that’s what he got as the two engaged in another brutal affair. This time, it was Matias who landed the heavier shots, damaging Ananyan’s face. With three seconds remaining in the ninth, Matias caught the fading Ananyan with a counter left hook to the chin that dropped him for the first time in his career. Although Ananyan was able to beat the count and was saved by the bell, the ring doctor concluded he was unfit to continue. Matias made an impressive statement and looks to be one of the most frightening super lightweights in boxing.
3 LEO SANTA CRUZ VS. ABNER MARES 2
Date: June 9, 2018
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles
At stake: Santa Cruz’s WBA Featherweight Title
Records: Santa Cruz 34-1-1 (19 KOs), Mares 31-2-1 (15 KOs)
Result: Santa Cruz UD (115-113, 116-112, 117-111)
Summary: In August 2015, Santa Cruz and Mares participated in an epic, nonstop slugfest with over 2,000 punches thrown. Throughout the fight, Santa Cruz dominated from the outside while Mares found ways to dominate on the inside. The fight was close as Santa Cruz edged Mares by majority decision.
Three years later, it was on again.
Similar to the first fight, the two showed massive heart and spirit in their hometown, picking up where they left off for another twelve rounds of electrifying battle. This time, Mares eliminated the smothering technique that was used in the first fight, finding the right openings for his shorter shots to effectively land in between Santa Cruz’s long and wider shots. In the third, Santa Cruz buzzed Mares and Mares responded with an overhand right of his own, a microcosm of the fight. Mares had pockets of success but when the two traded punches, it was Santa Cruz who delivered the cleaner shots. Although Santa Cruz suffered a cut near his left eye in the ninth round, it didn’t alter his gameplan. In the twelfth and final round, both champions let go of their hands, throwing punches in bunches until the final bell rang. Santa Cruz once again earned a decision, but this time it was unanimous as he retained the WBA featherweight crown.
2 TYSON FURY VS. DEONTAY WILDER 3
Date: October 9, 2021
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
At stake: Fury’s WBC Heavyweight Title
Records: Fury 30-0-1 (21 KOs), Wilder 42-1-1 (41 KOs)
Result: Fury KO 11 (1:10)
Summary: In December 2018, the undefeated WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder defended his title against the undefeated lineal titlist Tyson Fury. Astonishingly, Fury survived two knockdowns, one in the ninth and again in the twelfth, causing the fight to end in a controversial split-decision draw. Nevertheless, the fight was one of the most dramatic heavyweight title fights in modern times. Fury would stop Wilder in February 2020, paving the way for a third meeting between the two great heavyweights.
This one was the greatest of them all, featuring a total of five knockdowns. Just like in their second meeting, the first knockdown came in the third round as Fury dropped Wilder with a right hand. The momentum shifted in the fourth when Fury walked into a Wilder right which caused him to stumble before he hit the deck. The game Irishman beat the count but was down moments later, courtesy of another right. He was saved by a bell that rang shortly thereafter. What ensued was a savage slugfest as Wilder showed unbelievable guts in the face of Fury’s assault.
The fourth knockdown came in the tenth round when Fury caught Wilder off balance, dropping him down with a sneaky short right hand. Again, Wilder beat the count and kept fighting back, briefly stunning Fury with a right uppercut toward the end of the frame. A Fury right hand in the eleventh floored the “Bronze Bomber” a third time. Referee Russell Mora finally waved off the beautiful yet brutal back-and-forth war, concluding the best match of the year and one of the greatest heavyweight fights, and trilogies, of all time.
1 JERMELL CHARLO VS. BRIAN CASTANO 2
Date: May 14, 2022
Location: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson
At stake: Charlo’s WBA, WBC, IBF and Castano’s WBO Super Welterweight Titles
Records: Charlo 34-1-1 (18 KOs), Castano 17-0-2 (12 KOs)
Result: Charlo KO 10 (2:33)
Summary: In July 2021, Charlo and Castano fought to a thrilling but unsatisfying split-decision draw for the undisputed king status. Charlo rallied to land the heavier shots in the late rounds while Castano did the busier work in the opening rounds. This was a Fight of the Year candidate as both champions entertained the crowd in a dramatic twelve-round battle.
As good as the first fight was, the rematch might have been even better. Both men were hungry to make a historic statement without leaving it up to the judges. Once again, fight fans witnessed another Fight of the Year nominee. Charlo was the master this time, implementing a steady diet of jabs and committing to the body, along with solid combinations that effectively built up an early lead. Castano utilized the same pressure tactics from the first fight as he successfully landed a number of overhand rights.
It wasn’t enough entering the second half of the fight as Charlo’s sharp counterpunches took its toll on Castano. In the tenth, Charlo dropped Castano with a short left hook. Castano managed to rise, despite his legs giving up on him. Seconds later, Charlo closed the show, snapping Castano’s head back with a straight left followed by a hook to the ribs that collapsed Castano to the mat. The first-ever undisputed super welterweight champion in the four-belt era raced to a neutral corner, standing on the ropes with his right arm raising in victory as the fight was stopped. History had been made.
For a closer look at Martinez vs Ancajas 2, check out our fight night page.
- Martinez vs Ancajas 2