Mendoza: Nietes nicely does it, and he’s just warming up

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Monday, May 12, 2014


TIME to breast-beat. I said Donnie “Ahas” Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental, would win by knockout and he did just that – in the ninth round. I won some beer.

Usually, the ninth is the round before the so-called championship rounds of 10, 11 and 12.

The championship rounds are usually the make-or-break for a fighter way behind in the scorecards. A knockout in any of those rounds would be his only bailout.

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But in Saturday’s Pinoy Pride 25 at the MOA in Pasay City, Nietes was ahead – at least in my scorecard – going to the ninth round against challenger Moises Fuentes of Mexico.

Still, Nietes felt it mandatory for him to send Fuentes to dreamland if only to prove he is the champ and the rightful winner of that March 2013 fight with the Mexican that ended in a draw.

So that even as Nietes was ahead with four rounds left, the ALA Stable mainstay of the father-and-son duo of Tony and Michael saw it fit to inject a dash of flourish to his impending victory.

The snake was getting impatient?

It couldn’t wait no more?

It felt it right to end it in merciless fashion: Lynch his prey, go for the kill, as in a python gone foodless for months?

Three thundering rights did it.

The first was a well-timed combination punctuated by an overhead right to send Fuentes down on all fours. With momentum gone unchecked, Nietes hit the fallen Fuentes and was promptly slapped a one-point deduction by referee Robert Byrd.

That only fired up Nietes all the more as another blistering blast floored the Mexican anew.

But even as the Mexican managed to rise, the end was obviously near and Nietes knew it clearly well.

When Nietes unleashed the final blow that decked Fuentes a third time, Byrd was forced to end the fight with four seconds left in the ninth and declared “Ahas” the winner by technical knockout.

It was Nietes’s 32nd win against a lone defeat and one draw, inflicting Fuentes his second loss in 22 fights.

More important, Nietes retained his WBO world light flyweight crown he won in 2004.

Seemingly, the longest reigning Filipino champ isn’t done yet. At 31, he is not in his peak form. N’yet.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 13, 2014.

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