The successful Pinoy Pride series will continue to give us fights from top Filipino fighters other Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night. Pinoy Pride 25 will headline a rematch between one of the longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (32-1-4, 18 KO’s) against Moises Fuentes (19-1-1, 10 KO’s) of Distrito Federal, Mexico for Nietes WBO light flyweight title. Also in action is “Method Man” Milan Melindo against Martin “Diablo” Tecuapetla of Mexico. Ray “BoomBoom” Bautista will be back in the ring after more than one year of inactivity against Sergio “El Cuate” Villanueva also from Mexico. This time the event will be held at the sprawling Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines on Saturday night starting 6 PM (Manila Time).
Pinoy Pride 25: Preview and prediction
Donnie Nietes vs. Moises Fuentes, 12 rounds light flyweight
In March 2, 2013 Nietes and Fuentes first met at the Cebu Waterfront Hotel and Casino that ended in a majority draw. I re-watch the fight and I can say that it was an extremely close fight. Either way both men can win that fight but it can’t be without debate. Two judges had it 114-114 and judge Tapdasan scored it 115-113 for the defending champion Nietes [read here: Boxrec.com.]
During the weigh in both men registered the scale right on the spot for the division of 108 lbs.
Nietes vowed to settle for a knockout and said “No Draw” even before the press conference started. “I’ll go for a knockout” Nietes exclaimed. But he is prepared to go the full rounds if the situation needed it. Nietes is coming from an impressive third round technical knockout victory against Sammy Gutierrez in November.
The 24 year old Mexican challenger also vowed to take the belt back to Mexico. “I came to win. The title will go back to Mexico,” Fuentes said.
Nietes keys to win
After I re-watch the fight, I can say both men approached the fight technically. This time I think It will be the same except for minor adjustments. I think Nietes will be more aggressive this time but still extremely cautious. He vowed to be more aggressive. So, I expect him to throw more combinations this time compared to the first meeting. I understand that Nietes had no problem absorbing the best shot Fuentes landed. So, I think he will risk more and come in landing some and taking some shots. A calculated and more combination punching will be his key.
Fuentes keys to win
Fuentes has the height at 5 ‘6” and reach advantage at 67.5″ compared to Nietes who stands only at 5’ 3″ with 65.5″ reach. If Fuentes uses this advantages to his favor; not letting Nietes to go inside by using his long jab. All he need to do is to to box and move from the outside and rack up points. He needs to avoid close range exchanges but instead fight in range and look for more angles to fire without getting hit from counters.
Nietes will be lured by Fuentes to fight in exchanges wherein he lands more combinations and Nietes will win via UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Milan Melindo vs. Martin Tecuapetla, 12 rounds flyweights
Melindo (30-1, 12 KO’s) is technically superb and experienced against Martin Tecuapetla. The determining factor here is power. If Tecuapetla’s power will get respect from Melindo; Melindo might imposed a conservative and cautious methodical schooling, but if not, it could be an all out boxing clinic. It could end up a knockout in favor of Melindo, but it will depend how Tecuapetla withstands accumulated punches. Melindo is not known for his power but can knockout opponent through accumulated punches. My pick: Melindo UD 12.
Ray “BoomBoom” Bautista vs. Sergio Villanueva, 10 rounds junior lightweights
I’m intrigue with this return fight of Bautista. After he lost a split decision to Jose Ramirez for featherweight title, Bautista seemed frustrated, and he wanted to stop fighting. In an interview, I’ve seen on Philippine TV — to hype up his ring return — he said that he’s tired of boxing. I understand what he felt at that time. At times a fighter need to re-think his motivation after a loss. But I know that his last defeat is not as devastating compared to his first round knockout loss against Daniel Ponce De Leon. But to comeback after that lost, rebuild your career and then lost again in a decision — is something that is so frustrating for a fighter — that still struggled to become world champion. He said that after one year out the ring he’s eager and motivated to comeback.
Villanueva who lacks the quality of opponents in his ledger might not be too inexperienced for the Bohol native — who has a total of 31 fights, but Bautista’s power and crowd advantage will be too much for him to overcome.
I think the Bautista now 28 years old has acquired the needed steam to continue his boxing career. I think his major problem in this fight would be ring rust. This is also his first fight above the featherweight limit. I think Rey will come out to prove something in this fight, and I see him winning this fight. My Pick: Bautista KO 6.