Freeman Cebu Sports

Nietes delivers boxing masterclass

The Freeman

CARSON, California — Two division world champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes produced a boxing masterclass in his 12-round unanimous decision win over the iron-chinned Mexican Juan ‘Pinky’ Alejo to retain his WBO and The Ring light flyweight titles in the main event of the historic ‘Pinoy Pride 33: Philippines versus the World’ fightcard on Saturday night (Sunday morning Philippine time) at the StubHub Center here.

Tactical and composed as ever, the 32-year-old Nietes dominated Alejo from the start, pounding his Mexican challenger with all forms of punches resulting into a lopsided verdict in all the three judges’ scorecards. Lou Moret had it a 120-108 shutout, while Pat Russell and Marshall Walker both penned it 109-109 for Nietes,  who now sports a 37-1-4 record laced with 21KO.

Launching sharp uppercuts, solid straights and stinging hooks at will, Nietes hit his targets with pinpoint accuracy to the delight of the predominantly Filipino crowd. He rattled Alejo several times, particularly in rounds four, seven and eight but the Mexican showed great fighting spirit in overcoming the tough ordeal.

Nietes gamely admitted that he tried his best to finish off  Alejo, but the Mexican was just so sturdy and durable enough, standing still despite his heavy absorption of punishing blows from the ALA Stable stalwart all throughout the match.

Nietes also revealed that hurt his right hand after landing a solid head shot in the third round that negated him from coming up with a knockout. Though he failed to shut the lights off his foe, Alejo's disfigured face was a testament to his decisive triumph.

"Gusto ko din sa early round tapusin ang laban pero matibay din ang kalaban ko kaya pinakita ko na lang ang pinakamagandang laban ko para ang mga manood masiyahan naman," said Nietes during the post-fight press conference.

Still, the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion was satisfied with his performance, much more that he swiftly made an impression in his US debut.

"Matibay lang talaga si Alejo. Magaling mag-counterpunch at saka malakas din ang overhand niya. Gusto ko talaga ma-knockout siya pero medyo nahirapan na rin ako dahil third round pa lang sumakit na yung kanang kamay ko matapos matamaan ko siya sa ulo," said Nietes.

"Pero masayang-masaya ako na naipanalo ang laban dahil sa mainit na suporta nga mga Pinoy dito at saka natupad na rin ang pangarap ko na lumaban dito sa US," added the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental.

Moments after keeping his WBO 108-pound crown for the ninth time, Nietes did not blink in calling out pound-for-pound king Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez of Nicaragua, who successfully defended his WBC flyweight belt with a ninth round TKO of Fil-Am Brian Viloria on the same day over at the Madison Square Garden  in New York.

"Gusto ko talagang kakalabanin si Roman Gonzalez lalo na't nanalo po siya laban kay Viloria. Seguro kami na ang susunod na magkalaban," said Nietes.

ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer said there had already been talks regarding a possible megabuck showdown between Nietes and Gonzalez and that they will exhaust all to make it happen most probably towards the end of 2016.

"Actually we've started discussing about that. Now that they win their respective fights, we can have serious talks about it already. Nietes wants a bigger fight and Gonzalez is a great champion. That is one big fight we are really looking at in the future," said Aldeguer. (FREEMAN)

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