Filipino boxer Donnie “Ahas” Nietes retained his World Boxing Organization light flyweight title with a unanimous decision over a game Felipe Salguero of Mexico last night at Pinoy Pride XIV at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila.
There were no knockdowns in the bout, and neither fighter was in danger of going down at any time, which said a lot about Nietes’s difficulty with Salguero’s swarming, no-holds-barred style.Filipino judge Salven Lagumbay scored the bout a close 115-113, while the two other judges, Muhammad Rois and Sawaeng Taweekon, had it 116-112 for Nietes, who was defending the title he won last October for the first time.
Neither fighter could get a clear advantage in the first five rounds before Nietes came up with his best round in the sixth, rocking Salguero with a few solid hooks and a right uppercut. But the Mexican hung on and survived the onslaught.
Nietes opened a cut on the left eyebrow of Salguero in the middle rounds, while Salguero scored a number of times with telling body blows which Nietes admitted were pretty solid.
“I got hurt a bit by his bodega (body shots). He has pretty powerful body shots,” said Nietes in Filipino, adding he was hurt in the eighth or ninth rounds.
Indeed, Nietes appeared to tire in the late rounds as Salguero stepped up his attack in an attempt to steal the win. The Filipino champ also tried go for the knockout late, but the Mexican proved to be a tough nut to crack and gamely absorbed Nietes’s best blows.
“He’s really a sturdy fighter,” Nietes admitted. “I gave him a lot of big shots. Salguero is really tough.”
Even though he labored through his second straight unanimous decision win, Nietes said he was satisfied with his performance. He also plans to defend his belt two or three more times before invading the flyweight ranks, where Brian Viloria is the reigning WBO champion
When asked about his choice for his next opponent, the Bacolod native said he would take on all comers. “Everyone in my weight division,” he answered confidently.
Known as “Ahas” for keeping a python as a pet and bringing it into the ring for his fights, Nietes had no snake with him last night.
“I left it in Cebu,” he said with a smile. “I couldn’t borrow any snake here.”
Nietes improved to 30-1-3 with 16 knockouts, while Salguero slipped to 16-3-1.
In the main supporting bout, Milan Melindo made short work of Colombia’s Jesus Geles, winning via technical knockout right in the first round to capture the WBO International flyweight championship.
Melindo sent Geles down with a crunching right to the body less than a minute into the opening round. The Colombian got up at the count of six, but Melindo sent him down again seconds later.
After the Filipino began peppering him with several unanswered punches, Geles kneeled down in meek surrender, forcing referee Danrex Tapdasan to call off the fight at the 2:21 mark.
Melindo stayed unbeaten in 27 bouts with his 11th KO win, while Geles, a former WBO light flyweight champ, dropped to 13-3-1.
Geles came in three pounds over the 112-pound limit during Friday’s weigh-in, and would not have been awarded the title had he won.
In the other title bout, Genesis Servania knocked down Mexican Genaro “Poblanito” Garcia twice in the 12th round to win the World Boxing Council International Silver super bantamweight title via technical knockout. Servania was ahead in two of the three scorecards when referee Bruce McTavish waved off the bout at the 2:02 mark of the 12th.
In the second round, Servania tagged Garcia with a solid right hook that staggered the Mexican. Garcia was in trouble after Servania followed up with a few crisp shots, but he managed to hang on.Servania improved to 18-0 with six knockouts, while Garcia slipped to 38-9.