Nietes dethrones Garcia

Filipino Donnie Nietes became a two-division world champion by dethroning Ramon Garcia of Mexico in their 12-round WBO lightflyweight title fight at the University of St. La Salle in Bacolod City south of Manila, Philippines.

Nietes controlled the first half of the fight with his busy right hand, with the Filipino being the aggressor from the start. Garcia tried to be assertive in round five but the Mexican got caught with a strong left upper cut and a left to the body. Nietes had another big round as he wobbled Garcia with a big right then followed it up by an uppercut in the sixth.

The southpaw Garcia became unrelenting with his attacks which started to pay off as he was now connecting some big lefts and some combinations to the body starting in the seventh round. Clashing of heads in the 10th caused a small cut on Nietes’ left eyebrow. Another accidental headbutt aggravated the same cut in the 11th, forcing referee Robert Byrd to ask the ring physician to check the ugly gash.

When action resumed, Nietes surprised the good-sized crowd as he went toe-toe with Garcia, hitting the Mexican with clearer blows. Garcia remained aggressive but was missing most of his shots, enabling Nietes to remain on his feet and snatch the win. Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan had it 115-113, Lisa Giampa scored it 118-110 while Carlos Ortiz penned it 117-111 all for the Filipino hometown bet.

“I was robbed. I want a rematch but not here. He’s a coward because he kept on running the whole time. Next time we meet, I’m gonna knock him out.” said Garcia moments after the fight.

Nietes said he is open to a rematch but will leave everything to his manager Michael Aldeguer. “If it will happen in Mexico I’m ready. I’m used to it. I’ve beaten challengers in Mexico before,” said Nietes.

A former WBO minimumweight champion who defended his crown three times in Mexico, Nietes improves to 29-1-3 with 16 knockouts while Garcia drops to 16-3-1 with nine stoppages.