Nietes keeps title after fight vs Mexican foe ends in draw
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Donnie “Ahas” Nietes retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) international super flyweight title after absorbing a draw against Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic in their controversial world title eliminator bout in the under card of “Probellum: Revolution” fight card on Saturday, December 11, (December 12 Manila Time) at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, UAE.
The back and forth battle resulted to a draw. One judge scored 96-94 for Nietes (43-1-5, 23KOs) while another scored it identically 96-94 for Jimenez (30-9-5, 16KOs). The third judge saw the bout even at 95 all.
However, the bout became controversial when Jimenez and his corner cried foul after they were under the impression that the bout was scheduled for 12 rounds as a world title eliminator.
Jimenez and his camp weren’t informed that the bout was cut to ten rounds due to television air time. After the bout, an official of the fight card announced to everyone in Coca-Cola Arena that they’ve taken responsibility for the mistake for not informing Jimenez’s camp.
Nevertheless, the bout ended in a disappointing draw.
According the 39-year old Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion and four-division world champion, he was supposed to be leading the score cards.
“Una tan-aw nako lamang ko pero pag abot na sa seven to eight rounds, sige naman siya ug dagan, dili na nako makaya ug gukod niya. Hugaw iyahang duwa, sige ug dagan, sige ug duot sa ako-a,” Nietes said during the post fight interview.
Despite the draw, Nietes still earned the praise of the largely Filipino audience at the Coca-Cola Arena for fighting a much younger opponent even at his age.
The 39-year old Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental said he is willing to have a rematch with Jimenez, but it depends on his promoter, Richard Schaefer of Probellum.
Meanwhile, Jimenez said that he felt that he won the bout.
“I feel like I won the fight. The fight was scheduled as 12 rounds, but they took down two rounds,” said the 30-year-old two-time world title challenger.
There were instances that Jimenez slowed his pace down in the ninth and 10th rounds.
During the fight, Jimenez roughhoused Nietes by consequently locking the latter’s head. He also excessively pinned Nietes down.
Despite his antics, Nietes remained composed and started the first four rounds excellent by landing the cleaner shots and blocked most of Jimenez’s combinations.
Jimenez upped his pace in the fifth to eighth rounds by throwing more combinations. Nietes then retaliated aggressively in the ninth and 10th round and landed his combinations well.
Overall, their bout was more of a chess match, with both boxers banking on counter punches and occasionally waiting for each other to throw the first punch. / dcb
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