Elite super-flyweight fights next, says analyst

FILIPINO boxer Donnie “Ahas” Nietes marked his ring return after two years in impressive fashion in Dubai on Sunday (Manila time), beating Colombian Pablo Carrillo by unanimous decision to win the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) International super-flyweight title.

Mr. Nietes, 38, last fought in December 2018, but hardly showed rust as he dominated Mr. Carrillo, 99-91, 98-92 and 96-95,  in their scheduled 10-rounder played at the Caesars Palace Bluewaters, part of the “Legacy Dubai” event.

The former four-weight world champion Nietes showed his elite skills, using his jab well throughout the fight and catching Mr. Carrillo with a number of clean shots en route to the dominant win.

With the victory, Murcia, Negros Occidental native Nietes improved his record to 43 wins as opposed to one defeat and five draws while Mr. Carillo dropped to 25-8-1.

Meanwhile, local fight analyst Nissi Icasiano said Mr. Nietes did himself a favor with the quality win as the Filipino champion is now in a position to battle it out with the elite fighters in the super-flyweight division.

“It was a shutout victory for Donnie Nietes. The sizable gap in terms of skill and experience was evident from the get-go. Aside from that, Nietes effectively used his advantage in size. In addition, he showed no signs of rust despite the two-year hiatus. If you’re coming off a long layoff, this is the kind of performance that puts you on the radar,” said Mr. Icasiano in an online interview with BusinessWorld after the fight.

“At this point of his career, I think Nietes will still give the top fighters at 115 a run for their money. This could be his gateway to the elite of the super-flyweight division.”

The analyst went on to say that off the bat, a possible opponent for Mr. Nietes is Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

In the headlining fight at the Legacy Dubai event, Jamel Herring of the United States stopped Carl Frampton of the United Kingdom in the sixth round of their headlining fight to retain his WBO super-featherweight title.

Mr. Herring’s height and reach were evident from the first bell, catching Frampton with shots as the Belfast man tried to get on the inside. The American then dropped Mr. Frampton in round five, but the “Jackal” was able to get back to his feet.

Another big knockdown came for Mr. Herring in round six, and while Mr. Frampton got up, trainer Jamie Moore threw the towel in shortly after to end the contest.

After the fight, two-weight world champion Frampton announced his retirement. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo