Nietes KOs Fuentes-A A +A
Sunday, May 11, 2014
PASAY CITY – Donnie Nietes continues to pad his legacy as one of the best Filipino boxers in history following a statement victory over one of the finest in the light flyweight division – Moises Fuentes.
After their first encounter last year ended in a draw, Nietes didn’t leave it to the judges this time around and demolished Fuentes in the ninth round with an impressive display of counter punching and slick defense last Saturday night in the main event of Pinoy Pride 25 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
“It was one of Donnie’s vintage performances. On December 31 he will beat Elorde’s record. It is a defining moment for Donnie and Philippine boxing. Donnie could be one of the best ever,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said.
The 31-year-old Nietes fought differently than in their previous encounter in Cebu City last year. He was slicker, more accurate with his punches and had more gas in his tank.
Nietes made Fuentes miss and would constantly land his counter punches on the head of the Mexican challenger. In the seventh round, Fuentes started to fade, while Nietes consistently landed his combinations.
After being softened up by Nietes for eight rounds, Fuentes finally gave in and was dropped with a left hook in the ninth round. But Nietes was deducted a point after hitting a downed Fuentes on the canvass.
As Fuentes stood up and beat Robert Byrd’s count, Nietes aggressively attacked a wobbly Fuentes and dropped him again with a vicious right.
A thudding right hook to the head dropped Fuentes again and Byrd saw enough and stopped the fight in the 2:56 mark of the ninth.
“I’m happy that I knocked him out and showed everybody that I’m the better fighter. All the Filipinos are my strength and inspiration for this win,” said Nietes, who defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight belt and also won The Ring Magazine lineal light flyweight crown.
The win also kept his streak alive and his goal of becoming the longest reigning Filipino world champion, which is currently held by boxing great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.
Nietes is just eight months shy of tying Elorde’s record of being a world champion for eight years and three months.
Nietes improved to 33-1-4 with 18 knockouts, while Fuentes, the interim WBO light flyweight titleholder, suffered his first career knockout and dropped to 19-2-1 with 10 knockouts.
Nietes will be having one or two more title defenses this year before moving up in weight and chase a third division world crown.
“He could fight Roman Gonzalez or fight (Juan Francisco) Estrada. He has to fight the best to be the best,” said Aldeguer
Milan Melindo (31-1, 12 KOs) walked away with a majority decision over tough Martin Tecuapetla (11-6-2, 8 KOs) in the main supporting bout.
Edward Ligas and Gerald Tomeldan saw Melindo winning and scored the bout 116-112 and 115-113, while Salven Lagumbay scored the fight a 114-114 draw.
Melindo retained his WBO International flyweight belt with the victory.
Following a brief retirement, Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista (35-3, 25 KOs) had a successful ring return with a unanimous decision against Mexican prospect Sergio Villanueva (26-4-2, 13 KOs).
The scores were 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 12, 2014.