DONNIE “Ahas” Nietes etched his name in the history books as the only Filipino to win three world title fights in Mexico against a Mexican. The WBO minimumweight champion beat the tough Mario “Dragoncito” Rodriguez yesterday at the scorching Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina in Guasave, Sinaloa.

Nietes won by unanimous decision after 12 rounds, 119-109, 118-110, and 116-112.

He dominated the fight early on, banking on his left jab to orchestrate his powerful combinations. Nietes landed devastating combinations in the first three rounds, while his 21-year-old Mexican seemed content to play defense.

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In the fourth, Rodriguez started to get aggressive and landed a couple of shots to the body. However, he missed his target most of the time because of Nietes’s quick head-and-body movement.

Nietes was precise with his punches and constantly hit his foe’s head and body and Rodriguez’s nose got bloodied in the eighth.

As Nietes started dominating each round, Rodriguez tried to play catch-up and occasionally tagged Nietes with heavy bombs.

In the 11th, Nietes started to get tired because of the sweltering heat in the venue while Rodriguez, who has already fought at the Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina once, was heating up.

Rodriguez came out swinging in the last two rounds, hoping to land a lucky punch and steal the fight but Nietes held on nicely to retain his crown.

“We knew it wouldn’t be an easy fight considering the elements. It was super hot.

I heard it was 120 degrees (Fahrenheit). In the dressing room, the promoters didn’t provide an electric fan for team Nietes, only for Rodriguez. Despite that, Nietes fought a great fight and we are proud of him and the Filipinos should be as well.

He lost steam in the last round because of the heat but his will to win showed,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.

With the win, Nietes improved to 27-1-3 with 15 knockouts and ended the recent losing skid of Filipinos in world title fights in Mexico.

Rodriguez dropped to 10-6-3 with seven knockouts.

After three title defenses in Mexico, Nietes will probably defend his crown in the Philippines in December.

“My top priority is for Donnie to defend his title in the Philippines in his next fight. I hope to talk with GMA in the next few weeks. He deserves to have his next fight in our country and we feel, the Filipinos deserve to see him fight in person,” said Aldeguer.