FullSizeRender Donnie Nietes. Photo by Roy Luarca/INQUIRER –

IT WAS no ordinary boxing bout Donnie Nietes won in retaining his WBO junior flyweight crown in Cebu City on Saturday.

When he got tagged with a hard shot to the head in the 10th round, Nietes tarried and took a deep breath. He appeared on the verge of exhaustion.

How he moved back into the fray, to gamble on an injured hand in the 11th before dominating the 12th round, is the story of a quiet and unassuming Filipino champion gallantly retaining the Philippines’ lone remaining world boxing crown.

Michael Aldeguer, top man at ALA Promotions, said on the eve of the championship bout that expectations were bound to be surpassed, going by the quality of the competition.

After the tight tactical battle, which saw leads shifting sharply, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that they ended up serving what could qualify as a superfight.

The bout could have gone either way until Nietes, who injured his right hand in the sixth round, put up a masterful display of sharpness, courage and composure.

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Of course, the fight did not bring with it monumental purses. That could be a prerequisite for a bout that comes to be called a candidate superbout.

It was, however, rich in great exchanges, full of suspense, a real thriller.

What it lacked in dollar decimals, it more than made up in memorable combat.

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Losing mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez, his nose busted and bleeding, predictably protested and cried he should have gotten the decision.

Filipino cycling legend Jesus Garcia Jr., a Nietes die-hard, believed a rematch could prove similarly thrilling.

He, however, laughed off the scores of the second and third judges who gave Nietes final leads of 10 and eight points,  thereby making it appear there was a mismatch. Garcia claimed the 115-113 score submitted by the first judge was apt.

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For the record, the taller, ever-charging Rodriguez gave Nietes some tough time with his swarming offensive.

It was just too bad that, unlike Nietes, he lacked necessary defensive skills.

By the way, there was WBO president Paco Valcarcel presiding gleefully over the awarding of belts.

He sure was never remiss in claiming before the championship that Nietes, who always comes out to fight, is a future Hall-of-Famer.


453422934Credit: Photo by Mario Ocampo/Getty Images/

By:  Ryan Songalia –

Though 2014 has proven to be a steady year in boxing, a solid frontrunner for Fight of the Year had yet to emerge. Until Saturday night, that is.

While American fans had to settle for the unpopular mismatches that were Danny Garcia-Rod Salka and Lamont Peterson-Edgar Santana, a battle for supremacy at 105 pounds was taking place south of the border.

In the end, Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (15-2, 10 knockouts) had done enough to unify his WBO strawweight title with Katsunari Takayama’s IBF belt with a unanimous decision at the Arena Monterey in Monterey, Mexico. The scores didn’t tell the story of how close the action was, as Rodriguez won by the tallies of 115-112, 116-111 and 119-108.

The 21-year-old Rodriguez, who had won the title with a one-sided pounding of Merlito Sabillo in March, came out aggressively – as is his trademark – while Takayama, 31, was looking to box and counter.

The inventive angles of Rodriguez’s attack finally paid dividends in the third stanza with a left hook that put Takayama down, and after rising to his feet the Japanese titleholder clearly felt it imperative to make a return statement. Realizing how dire his situation was becoming, Takayama (27-7, 10 KOs) looked to put some hurt on the heavier-hitting Rodriguez, outthrowing and outlanding his foe in the fourth.

Takayama reverted to his original plan to box in the fifth but Rodriguez’s continuous pressure would not allow Takayama to remain comfortable for long stretches. The back and forth action continued along the same pattern for the remainder of the fight, with Rodriguez’s heavier shots going against Takayama’s lighter, more voluminous punches.

Both men seemed weary in the final round, and though the cards indicated that only a knockout could’ve won it for Takayama, both fought as if the fight was hanging in the balance. After roughhouse maneuvers drew a warning from the referee for Rodriguez, the Mexican banger stunned Takayama with another right hand.

The win marks the fourth straight for Rodriguez, who has emerged as a major player in the sport’s lightest divisions after being stopped in seven rounds by Roman Gonzalez last September. Heading into the fight, Takayama was rated no. 4 by THE RING at 105 pounds while Rodriguez was rated sixth.


Date:  Saturday, August 9, 2014

Unification IBF/WBO  Mini-Flyweight Championship Bout

Location:  Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Promoter:  Promociones Zanfer

Supervisor:   Rolando Marcos Hermoso

Referee:  Samuel Viruet

Judges:  Waleska Roldan, John Madfis, Glenn Trowbridge

Results:    WBO Mini-Flyweight Champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr., retained the title and won the unification IBF Minimumweight Title by Unanimous Decision over Katsunari Takayama.   Takayama was knocked down in the 3rd round.

TV:  Mexico Azteca


“El boxeador Francisco Rodríguez Tamayo “El Chihuas” es orgullo de Monterrey y México”.

Enrique Peña Nieto, Presidente de México.

10013559_10152309377819337_8960825924690580527_n-300x290Por:  Isaac Guerra –

El Presidente de México Enrique Peña Nieto felicitó personalmente al primer campeón mundial regiomontano, Francisco ‘Chihuas’ Rodríguez que el pasado 22 de marzo se coronó monarca Paja de la Organización Mundial de Boxeo (OMB) en la Arena Monterrey ante Merlito Sabillo al que le arrebató el invicto por nocaut en el décimo asalto, en cartelera organizada por la empresa Zanfer de Fernando Beltrán.

Contrario a otros monarcas mundiales mexicanos, al ‘Chihuas’ lo felicitó personalmente el primer mandatario nacional en su tierra, Monterrey, Nuevo León en una visita que tuvo de trabajo, destacando el triunfo del peleador para los mexicanos.

El peleador acudió a la cita a donde fue invitado por personal del ejecutivo estatal y se entrevistó con el Gobernador de Nuevo León Rodrigo Medina y con el Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, yendo acompañado de su entrenador y manager José Antonio Hernández.

‘El Chihuas’, monarca mundial Paja de la OMB, organismo que preside Francisco Valcárcel, agradeció el gesto y le regaló un par de guantes autografiados al Presidente.

Acude a la Arena El Jefe – Ya por la noche el campeón mundial acudió como frecuentemente lo hace a la Arena El Jefe como aficionado que es el boxeo, ya estando en el lugar subió al ring a invitación del anunciador Ramiro Ramírez, quien también hizo subir al campeón mundial Plata CMB, Sergio ‘Dandy’ Puente y el campeón nacional Mosca Fecombox, Eduardo ‘Lalillo’ Hernández que el próximo 30 de abril se presenta en la estelar de la función de Promociones El Jefe en este mismo escenario.