STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART L: DONNIE NIETES, FOUR-WEIGHT DIVISION WORLD CHAMPION
By Maloney L. Samaco
Wed, 17 Jun 2020
After breaking Flash Elorde's record, Donnie Nietes continued his reign and successfully defended his WBO light flyweight title four more times. He scored a technical knockout win at the end of the 9th round over another Mexican Gilberto Parra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on March 28, 2015.
He dropped Parra down to the canvas with a left-right combination to the head. Parra was saved by the bell but was too weak to continue for the 10th round and the referee stopped the fight as advised by the ringside physician.
Nietes dominated Francisco "Chihuas" Rodriguez for 12 rounds on July 11, 2015 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, in a lopsided unanimous decision win, 118-110, 119-109 and 115-113.
Nietes clearly pummeled Rodriguez since the opening round of the fight until the 12th round as referee Russell Mora almost stopped the bout. The 22-year-old Mexican former IBF and WBO unified minimumweight champion was no match for the 33-year-old Nietes who fought before his cheering fans.
In his debut fight in the United States, Nietes cruised to a 12-round unanimous decision win over Mexico's Juan "Pinky" Alejo on October 17, 2015 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The scorecards read as follows: 120-108, 119-109, and 119-109.
Alejo was cut under his right eye in the 2nd round and was gashed at the corner of his left eye in the 4th round from Nietes' punches. A right hand from Alejo also opened a cut in Nietes' left eye. The champion pounded the inexperienced challenger with thundering uppercut and short potshots for an easy workout.
Nietes battered Mexico's Raul Garcia and stopped him after 5 rounds at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City, Philippines on May 28, 2016. The ALA boxing star sent Garcia to the canvas twice in the 3rd round.
The first knockdown came with a stunning left hook and a followup right hand to the body. Garcia's legs were wobbly when another body punch downed him again. Nietes made an easy target of Garcia until his corner threw in the towel after the 5th round.
The 33-year-old Garcia from La Paz, Mexico was previously the IBF and WBO strawweight champion and lost by knockout for the first time in his career.
In his first flyweight fight against former WBC light flyweight champion Edgar Sosa on September 24, 2016, Nietes triumphed via unanimous decision to win the vacant WBO intercontinental flyweight title at the StubHub Center, Carson, California. The three judges scored the fight 120-108 in favor of Nietes.
On April 29, 2017, Nietes defeated Thailand's Komgrich Nantapech for the vacant IBF world flyweight title and became the third Filipino boxer to win world titles in three different weight divisions, together with Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
Nietes aggressively attacked Nantapech in the early rounds. But the Thai retaliated in the fourth and fifth rounds, challenging the ever durable Nietes who continued to stay active until the final bell. After 12 rounds, the judges declared a unanimous decision for Nietes, 115-113, 117-111, 117-111.
He successfully defended his title against the mandatory challenger and former two division world champion Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina. The champion's accuracy in using his punches and jabs piled up more hits right from the start.
The challenger got more aggressive as the fight went on, but Nietes cleverly just keep evading from Reveco’s target. Reveco was cut at his right eye from a legal punch by Nietes in the 6th round. In the 7th round, Nietes bombarded Reveco with hooks to the body, followed by a left uppercut that sent Reveco to the floor.
The Argentinian was able to beat the count, but was groggy enough to continue. The referee waved the fight as Reveco's corner threw the towel and declared Nietes winner by technical knockout. The match was held at The Forum, Inglewood, California on February 24, 2018.
On June 14, 2018, Nietes was listed for the first time at The Ring magazine's pound for pound list at number nine.
Nietes made his debut in the superflyweight division against Filipino compatriot Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight Championship. The fight ended in a questionable split decision draw, 118-110 for Nietes, 116-112 for Palicte and a 114-114 draw at The Forum in Inglewood, California on September 8, 2018.
The draw was very controversial. Compubox punchstats showed that Nietes outlanded Palicte 194-124 and Nietes also connected more power punches, 112-89. Total punch accuracy also had Nietes way ahead at 37.1% compared to Palicte's 14.9%.
He eventually won the same vacant WBO superflyweight title after defeating Japan's Kazuto Ioka via split decision at Wynn Palace, Macau on December 31, 2018. He became the third Asian to win world titles in at least four weight classes. American judge Patricia Morse Jarman scored it 116-112 and Levi Martinez also of USA had it 118-110 for Nietes while Samuel Nieto of Panama saw it 112-116 for Ioka.
The younger Ioka started had a stronger start raining powerful jabs on Nietes. The Filipino retaliated in the ensuing rounds, connecting with mighty hooks and uppercuts. Ioka had the upper hand in the 9th round, when Nietes began to slow down somehow.
Ioka continuously taking the offensive advantage in the 10th round but Nietes revived his energy in the last two rounds, and convinced the two judges in their verdict.
Nietes joined Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipinos to win four division world championships.
Nietes presently has 42 wins, 1 loss, 5 draws with 23 KOs in 48 bouts.
Photo shows Donnie "Ahas" Nietes (right) with the author at the ALA Gym in Cebu.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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