Donnie Nietes | File Photo

Nietes, Palicte battle to split draw
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2018 - 5:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — Donnie Nietes couldn’t believe it when his WBO super-flyweight title fight against countryman Ashton Palicte Sunday (Manila time) ended in a draw at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Nietes felt he was robbed of a victory and a world title in a fourth weight class.

But Nietes, who hasn’t lost a fight in 14 years, took it in stride.

“That’s boxing. Ganyan talaga,” he told The STAR in a phone interview yesterday afternoon, which was past midnight in Caliornia.

“Yun ang tingin ng judges eh (That’s how the judges saw it). Hindi natin maiwasan (We can’t avoid it),” Nietes, 36, added.

He had hoped to become only the third Filipino boxer after Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. to win world titles in at least four weight divisions.

Nietes landed the clearer punches while Palicte, nine years younger and four inches taller, threw more but landed less.

According to Compubox, a computerized punches scoring system, Nietes connected on 194 of 523 total punches, including 82 of 242 power punches.

Palicte had his own moments but could only land 124 of 830 punches, and 89 of 423 power punches.

“It was a close fight. I threw punches. I landed punches,” Palicte told those at ringside.

Nietes laughed when reminded of Manny Pacquiao’s bitter and controversial defeats to Timothy Bradley in 2012 and Jeff Horn in 2017.

“Kaya nga eh (I know),” said Nietes.

“But it’s okay. At least, maganda ang (it was a good) performance ko,” he added.

Nietes said he’s open to fighting Palicte in a rematch as he will remain the No. 1 boxer in the WBO super-flyweight rankings.

“Alam na namin ang feeling ni Manny Pacquiao (Now, we know how Manny Pacquiao felt),” said Nietes’ trainer, Edito Villamor.

“Masama talaga (It was terrible),” Villamor told The STAR.

“They robbed Donnie Nietes of his legacy,” he said.

Villamor said Nietes’ promoter, Michael Aldeguer, may write the WBO to look into the result of the fight.

“But it’s up to the WBO what their mandate is on Donnie. Kung ano man ang mandate, tatanggapin naming (We will accept it). Si Donnie pa din naman ang number one,” he said.

Nietes sounded like it’s all water under the bridge now.

“Better luck next time,” he said.

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