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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Quijano: Minus one world champ

LOOKS like I will be in Manila this coming weekend for the rematch of Donnie Nietes vs. Moises Fuentes at the Mall of Asia Arena.

This fight is certainly a tossup and “Ahas” Nietes has his work cut out for him.

The first fight ended in a majority draw and I can still vividly recall how much Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera-who came here to support his ward Fuentes- protested the verdict.

Nietes started out strong but Fuentes landed several body shots in the middle rounds which seemed to slow down “Ahas”

Furious combinations unleashed by Fuentes had Nietes bleeding and backing up in the 7th and 8th rounds.

Nietes regained his second wind in the tenth, and landed some eye-catching bombs in
the championship rounds to finish strong.

The scores were 114-114 (twice) and 115-113 for Nietes. Of course, a rematch is always the remedy to a controversial fight.

The key for Donnie here is to find a way to get inside the reach of his taller foe. He was doing pretty well in the first fight until the body shots got to him.

Still, Fuentes is pretty much there to be hit as his defense is nothing spectacular.

It’s about time Donnie steps up and registers a spectacular win over a worthy, top-tier opponent.

CASIMERO. Last Saturday, Johnreil Casimero (20-2, 12KOs) had his way with Colombian Mauricio Fuentes (16-3, 10KOs), ending matters in 2:59 of the very first round.

According to Sun.Star Superbalita’s Jun Migallen, the singing of the Colombian anthem took longer than the fight itself.

Right from the get-go, the size difference between the fighters was plainly obvious.

Casimero came in a few pounds overweight at the weigh-in and had to forfeit his hard-earned IBF light flyweight crown.

Casimero wasted no time inflicting debilitating shots on the hapless Fuentes and knocked him down twice before the fight was stopped.

The perfunctory excuse given was that Casimero had outgrown his division, and well, there could be a grain of truth to that considering that he is only 24 years old and has yet to fill out his frame.

But the sight of him and his handlers being attacked by a frenzied mob in Argentina back in 2012 when he wrested away that coveted IBF crown puts things in a different perspective.

So much hard work, grief and pain all for naught now. Still, we have to give John Reil
the benefit of the doubt and wish him luck as he ascends to a higher weight class.

That’s minus one world champ for us, which puts some more pressure on Donnie this coming Saturday.

SNUB. Was it just me or did the handlers of Casimero give the local sports media the cold shoulder?

I actually don’t mind not getting an invite to a fight card. My Sun.Star Cebu ID has its utility value after all, and am grateful that it gets me in at any boxing event.

Heck, I don’t even mind paying if I have to. After all, I am a fight fan first before a sportswriter.

But you would actually think that the only pure boxing/MMA column in a community newspaper with the widest circulation nationwide would actually get an invitation.

I discussed this matter with my sports media brethren at fight night and horror of horrors, I was not alone. They revealed that they only got whiff of the weigh-in from the news reports and so they covered the event. No invite, no letter, no nothing.

Prior to the fight, I got several inquiries about the presscon for the Casimero fight but in all honesty I knew squat so I could not help disseminate any information at all.

Turns out there was no press conference to announce the fight, except for the one held at the weigh-in.

C’mon guys, you can do better than that. You can be truculent if you prefer it that way, but do so at your fighter’s peril. All those empty seats sure could use some butts.

LAST ROUNDS. Are on Christy Pepito, the ever doting and ever patient wife to my pare Bong, and my cuz Kit Sincero Tomelden who are celebrating their birthdays this week. Cheers!

(Follow me on Twitter @thelastround; jingo_quijano@yahoo.com)


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