Donaire eyes title crack at 122; Nietes next defense July 4
Donnie Nietes extended his reign while Nonito Donaire Jr. showed there’s a lot of spark left in him Saturday night in Pinoy Pride 30 at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Reasserting his supremacy over Mexican fighters, Nietes stopped Gilberto Parra after the ninth round to retain the World Boxing Organization light flyweight crown, which he will again defend against former unified strawweight titlist Francisco Rodriguez on July 4 in Cebu City.
Making his first appearance after a devastating knockout loss last October, Donaire battered Brazilian William Prado in two rounds to clinch the World Boxing Council-North America Boxing Federation super bantamweight crown.
Propped up by chants of “Nonito! Nonito!” late in the first round, Donaire turned vicious and started landing hard body shots.
Donaire stepped up his attack in the second and eventually sent Prado reeling on the ropes with left hooks and uppercuts.
Donaire continued punishing Prado with booming left shots, forcing referee Bruce McTavish to step in and halt the fight 2:16 into the round. It was Donaire’s 34th win, with 22 KOs, against three defeats.
While Donaire, who had to shed six pounds in two days to make the 122 lb limit, was furious and relentless, Nietes was patient and methodical.
Though Nietes felt he could take Parra’s power in the early going, the 32-year-old pride of Murcia, Bacolod, found the opening to deck the Brazilian only in the eighth round with a left-right combination.
Parra (19-3, 17 KOs), however, managed to beat the count and run out the clock.
In the ninth round, Nietes again connected with a right that opened a bloody cut on Parra’s left eyelid. The ring physician examined the cut after the ninth and referee Jack Reiss waived off the bout.
Nietes claimed his fourth straight Mexican victim, all by knockouts, and rose to 35-1-4 with 21 KOs.
With his sixth successful title defense, Nietes extended his record reign as world champion to seven years and six months, highlighted by three title defenses against Mexicans in their home soil.
According to ALA Promotions president and CEO Michael Aldeguer, Nietes will move up to 112 lb to challenge WBA-WBO king Juan Francisco Estrada if he gets past Rodriguez.
Prime prospect “Prince” Albert Pagara triggered the Filipinos’ romp over foreign foes when he stopped Mexican Rodolfo Hernandez after the fourth round to keep his IBF light featherweight title.
The 21-year-old Pagara (23-0 with 16 KOs) decked Hernandez with a right in the first round and pummeled the Mexican with body blows in the fourth. Hernandez (26-5, 24 KOs) did not answer the bell for the fifth round due to an injured right hand.
Aldeguer said Pagara will be sent to the United States for training next month for a July 12 fight.
Japanese Ryo Akaho (26-1-2, 18 KOs) stopped Ghanaiian Prosper Ankrah (24-5, 15 KOs) in the fourth in their WBO bantam clash while former world title contender AJ “Bazooka” Banal settled for a unanimous decision against Indonesian Junior Banawa in their 124-lb tussle in the event jointly staged by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
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