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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pinoy Pride 25: Nietes stops Fuentes, retains title

[caption id="attachment_2583" align="alignnone" width="738"]Pinoy Pride 25: Nietes stops Fuentes, retains world title Photo: Dong Secuya/[/caption]

Donnie "Ahas" Nietes said that there will be "no draw" in his rematch with Mexican Moises Fuentes at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Philippines. And he delivered.

Nietes who trains from ALA Boxing stable stops Fuentes in round 9 and retains his WBO light flyweight title. He drops Fuentes twice in round 9 before landing a cracking overhand right that put his challenger down. Referee Robert Byrd didn't bother to count and immediately waives it of as Fuentes is in no position to continue. The official time of the stoppage: 2:56 in round 9.

[Read Also: Pinoy Pride 25: Preview and prediction]

Nietes, now improved his record to 33 wins, 19 by way of stoppage, 1 loss and 4 draws started the fight well, boxing and moving around, landing the cleaner shots. Fuentes on the other end started slowly as usual but pressing forward targeting the champion's body.

In the second round, Fuentes, now dropped to 19 wins, 10 by way of stoppage, 2 losses, and 1 draw, stepped up the pace and continue to press forward, catching Nietes to the body when Nietes crouch and spin away from him. In the third round, Nietes hurt Fuentes with a body shot that stunned the challenger momentarily on his track.

In the seventh round, Nietes landed clean combinations that wobbled Fuentes, but unable to finished as the hard hitting challenger from Mexico tried to hold on.

In the eighth round both fighters slowed down a bit -- especially Nietes -- who looks tired and seemed he punch-out in the previous round.

Stamina has been a problem for Nietes in the past.

However, in the ninth round Nietes dropped Fuentes and hit him while on the floor, resulting to a point deduction. The fight continued. Nietes again sent Fuentes to the floor with a couple of body and head shots. Fuentes managed to survive the count but still too shaky. Nietes, although sensing a knockout win, didn't rush things up. He waited and unleashed a well-timed finishing touch -- a cracking overhand right -- that landed clean on Fuentes left face.

With the win, Nietes registered his 21st win in 25 bouts, without defeat, and only 4 draws since losing a split decision against Angky Angkotta in 2004. This is also Nietes second straight victory via stoppage.

Milan Melindo UD12 Martin Tecuapetla

In the supporting main event, Milan Melindo (31-1, 12 KO's) showcased yet another methodical beat down against Martin Tecuapetla (11-6-2, 8 KO's) of Mexico in over 12 rounds of boxing spectacle. Variety of punches, from jab, uppercuts and hooks were on display. The left hook followed by uppercut combination find its home most of the time on Tecuapetla's head. Melindo out-classed the extremely tough challenger that never stops coming forward. Melindo was sweeping rounds from the opening round until round 8 on my scorecards.

In round 9, Melindo was deducted for a low blow. After the deduction, Melindo showed signs of fatigue -- slowed down drastically -- and was breathing heavily. In round 10, Tecuapetla continue to press forward against a now more stationary champion. But Melindo was able to defend effectively and occasionally catching Tecuapetla with left and right counters.

In round 11, Melindo executes the final push landing beautiful counters. In the final round, Melindo is well ahead in my scorecards. I have him winning 8 rounds against 4. The official scores were 114-114,116-112 and 115-113. The draw scored by Filipino judge Zalven Lagumbay doesn't make sense to me. At worse, the score could be 7 rounds against 5 on Melindo's favor, but a tie -- no way.

Rey Bautista UD10 Sergio Villanueva

Meanwhile, Rey "BoomBoom" Bautista (35-3, 25 KO') scored a unanimous victory against Sergio Villanueva (26-4-2, 13 KO's) also from Mexico, in his ring return after more than one year of inactivity. This is Bautista's debut as a junior lightweight.

Bautista who promised to deliver a showing did just enough to get the judges nod to the tune of 97-93, 96-94 and 96-94. However, it's a good performance for Bautista, although, far from what I expected from him.

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