Nietes stops Garcia in 5 rounds to retain crown

nietes1 Donnie Nietes after his fifth round TKO win. PHOTO BY ROY LUARC

BACOLOD CITY—It was Donnie “Ahas” Nietes at his finest Saturday night, forcing Mexican Raul Garcia to quit on his stool after five rounds and retaining his World Boxing Organization light flyweight crown in the headliner of Pinoy Pride 36 at University of St. La Salle Coliseum here.

Living up to his promise to put up a sterling performance before his provincemates, Nietes proved to be too skillful and powerful for Garcia, who became the Filipino’s 15th Mexican victim, including his twin brother Ramon Garcia Hirales at the same venue in 2011.

Typifying his dominance, Nietes dropped Garcia twice in the third round, first with a left straight to the head followed by another left to the body. Garcia was up in no time only to be sent down anew with a right to the body by the pride of nearby Murcia town.

“I knew I had him from the first round,” said Nietes in Filipino. “I found no need to hurry up as his body is already hurting.

According to Nietes, the fight turned out to be just what he and trainer Edmund Villamor prepared for, finding his range and penetrating the Mexican’s defenses.

The 34-year-old Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world champion at eight years, raised his record to 38-1-4 with 21 knockouts while pulling down Jimenez, the former International Boxing Federation and WBO minimum weight titlist, to 36-4-1, 22 KOs.

Unable to withstand Nietes’ barrage and pinpoint punches, Garcia did not answer the sixth round bell.

“I’m verry, very happy,” said Nietes, who thanked the capacity crowd that included his parents and townmates.