Nietes stops Mexican in 3
DONNIE “Ahas” Nietes turned prophetic Saturday night, stopping Mexican Sammy Gutierrez to retain his WBO world light flyweight title in the headliner of Pinoy Pride 23 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
In stark contrast, Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo struggled throughout and escaped with a split draw against Nicaraguan Carlos Buitrago to keep his WBO minimumweight crown.
Attacking relentlessly, Nietes decked Gutierrez twice in the first round and then ended the bout with a well-timed right straight to the chin, with two seconds left in the third round.
The softspoken Nietes had said during the buildup for the “Filipinos Kontra Latinos” card that he was treating the bout as a tuneup fight, adding he would win by knockout.
Nietes first put down Gutierrez with three hard rights. The Mexican got up, but was tagged by two sneaky lefts for the second knockdown at the 2:43 mark.
Gutierrez beat the count anew and Nietes ran out of time trying to finish him off.
The 31-year-old Nietes, who has held a world title since 2007, resumed his assault in the second round with lead left jabs, right straights, and a right uppercut.
Nietes staggered Gutierrez anew with a solid left followed by a right straight midway in the third before going for the kill in the dying seconds. As the Mexican tried to counter, he left himself open for the devastating right that sent him down to the canvas face first.
Gutierrez tried to get up but referee Celestino Cruz halted the bout at the 2:58 mark.
“When I felt that I could withstand his punches, I never let up,” said Nietes, who atoned for a disputed draw with Moises Fuentes on March 2 in Cebu City.
Nietes improved to 32 wins, 18 by knockouts, against one loss and four draws. Gutierrez fell to 33-10-2, with 23 knockouts.
Sabillo had to muster all his strength and cunning to earn the draw with Buitrago.
Though only 21, Buitrago proved to be an effective counterpuncher and even wobbled Sabillo in the ninth round with a right hook.
American judge Levi Martinez saw Buitrago the winner, 115-113, but German Joerq Milke favored Sabillo, 115-113. Japanese Takeshi Shimakawa scored the bout, 114-114.
Sabillo is now 23-0-1 with 12 knockouts while Buitrago is 27-0-1 with 16 knockouts.
Earlier bouts saw Milan Melindo, Jason Pagara and AJ Banal notch unanimous decision wins over Jose Alfredo Rodriguez of Mexico, Vladimir Baez of the Dominican Republic and Lucian Gonzales of Puerto Rico.
Veteran Jimrex Jaca sparked the Filipinos’ onslaught with a first round stoppage of Indonesian Wellem Reyk in the event staged by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
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