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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XLIX: DONNIE NIETES SURPASSES FLASH ELORDE’S RECORD AS LONGEST REIGNING FILIPINO WORLD CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




Negotiations for Donnie Nietes to defend his WBO minimumweight title against different fighters have failed three times because of unknown reasons. So Nietes was in danger of being stripped off his title per WBO rules which mandates that a champion should defend his title within a year after winning it.

After 11 months of waiting, he finally had a challenger in Eddy “Torito” Castro of Nicaragua on August 30, 2008. Nietes won the fight by technical knockout at 2:49 mark of the second round at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City. Nietes pummeled Castro with a perfectly timed left hook to the jaw, crushing his opponent down with his back flat on the floor of the ring.

Nietes defended his WBO minimumweight title for the second time by winning a unanimous decision over Erik Ramirez on February 28, 2009 in Oaxaca, Mexico. En route to the win, Nietes sent Ramirez to the canvas four times in separate rounds, in the 1st, 5th, 9th and 12th round.

In his third defense, Nietes battled WBO interim champion Manuel Vargas on September 12, 2009 in his opponent's home turf in Tepic, Mexico. Nietes won the bout by split decision. American judge Brian Garry saw it 112-116 for Vargas while another American Thomas Nardone had it 118-110 and Puerto Rican Jose Roberto Torres scored 116-110 for Nietes.

On January 23, 2010, Nietes should have defended his WBO title for the fourth time in Pasay City. Two opponents withdrew and Mexico's Jesus Silvestre finally agreed to face the champion. But the problem was Silvestre did not rank among the WBO contenders, so Nietes' title was not at stake and the fight was good only for 10 rounds.

Both fighters displayed good fighting and was a taste of the action at the light flyweight division for Nietes and proved he had the power to rule the next heavier weight with a tenth-round technical knockout.

Nietes was declared winner by TKO when Silvestre stopped to take a drink of water in his corner with the round still ongoing which was against the rules. It became one of the list of bizarre boxing incidents.

In his fourth title defense, Nietes fought Mexico's Mario Rodriguez on August 14, 2010, at the Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. The Filipino champion won the fight by unanimous decision with scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112. Nietes’ biggest round was the sixth stanza, when he pounded Rodriguez with booming uppercuts and left hooks.

Nietes was scheduled to defend his title on March 12, 2011, against mandatory challenger and former WBO minimumweight champion Raul Garcia of Mexico.

But less than two weeks before the fight, Nietes vacated his world minimumweight title and moved up to light flyweight. On April 9, 2011, Nietes faced Armando Vazquez of Mexico before his hometown fans in Bacolod City and defeated him by an astounding first round knock out.

On October 8, 2011, Nietes defeated Mexico's Ramón García Hirales by a 12-round unanimous decision to win the WBO light flyweight title, winning his second world championship and becoming a two-division titlist again before his home crowd at La Salle Coliseum, Bacolod, City.

He defended his title on June 2, 2012 against Felipe Salguero via unanimous decision at Resorts World Manila, Pasay City. The scores were: Salven Lagumbay 115-113, Muhammad Rois 116-112 and Sawaeng Thaweekoon 116-112.

"Ahas" stopped Thai opponent Danai Meendaeng alias Kaokarat Kaolernlekgym by 5th round KO on November 17, 2012 in Dumaguete City.

Nietes retained his WBO light flyweight title against WBO minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes on March 2, 2013 via a majority draw. Americans Adalaide Byrd and Pat Russell had it tied at 114-114 while Filipino judge Atty. Danrex Tapdasan favored Nietes 115-113. Fuentes of Mexico held the WBO minimumweight title from 2011 to 2013.

On November 30, 2013, he defended his title against Mexican Sammy Gutiérrez and won by 3rd round KO at 2:58 mark of the round. Nietes decked Gutierrez twice in the first round and then ended the bout with a well-timed right straight to the chin in the third at the at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.

Nietes sent a clear message to the boxing world in the rematch with Moises Fuentes on May 10, 2014 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, with his complete domination of the Mexican who was considered as one of the best fighters in the lower weight divisions. Neites outclassed Fuentes and sent him to the canvas three times, and knocking him out 2:56 in the ninth round.

The knockout victory shocked Mexican boxing legend Marco Antonio Barrera who was confident that Fuentes would win over Nietes and would take the WBO title back to Mexico.

With the win, Nietes also got the vacant Ring junior flyweight title defeating Fuentes who was WBO interim junior flyweight titlist that time.

On November 15, 2014, the Murcia native successfully defended his WBO and The Ring light flyweight titles by stopping Carlos Velarde of Mexico in the 7th round at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City.

Nietes on January 1, 2015, was formally the longest reigning Filipino world champion with a record of seven years, three months and one day, surpassing the record previously held by Gabriel "Flash" Elorde which had stood for over 34 years.



Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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