Cebu City, Philippines – The longest reigning Filipino champion and the lone champion from the Philippines Donnie Nietes retained his light flyweight title by outpointing the 22-year old mandatory challenger Mexican Francisco Rodriguez Jr. on Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City.
Nietes dominated Rodriquez in a tactical fight and won via unanimous decision. Two judges had it for Nietes in a wide margin: Robert Hecko 119-109 and Lisa Giampa 118-110, while judge Benoit Roussel had it little bit closer at 115-113.
Nietes, 33, now improves his record to 36 wins, with 21 wins by way of knockout, 1 defeat, and 4 draws. Rodriguez on the other hand falls to 17 wins, 3 defeats and a draw.
With the win Nietes, defended his championship for nearly eight years since winning the minimum weight championship in 2007 and the longest reigning Filipino champion in Philippine boxing history.
What’s next for Donnie Nietes
Nietes could probably move up to the talent packed 112 pound division with Roman Gonzalez sitting at the top of the division with other titlist Juan Francisco Estrada (43-0, 37 KOs) , Amnat Ruenroeng (16-0, 5 KOs), who recently successfully defended title against Jhonriel Casimero (21-3, 13 KOs), Moruti Mthalane (31-2, 20 KO’s) and Brian Viloria (35-4, 21 KOs).
Estrada would be an “easy fight” says Villamor, Donnie Nietes trainer.
The Nietes-Rodriguez match-up is the 31st edition of the successful ALA’s Pinoy Pride Series.
The next installment could be in Dubai as the advertisement for a card dubbed “Duel in Dubai II” has been airing on ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC) in the Middle East.