Donnie “Ahas” Nietes successfully defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior-flyweight title after beating his Mexican opponent, Carlos Velarde, via technical knockout in the seventh round of Pinoy Pride 28 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City on Saturday.
Saturday’s win sends out a clear message: Nietes has secured his place in boxing history.
The 32-year-old Nietes has extended his reign as champion to seven years, one month, and 15 days following his win.
His recent victory has brought Nietes closer to clinching the record held by Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, the Filipino who currently holds the record for longest reigning boxing champion in the junior lightweight divisions for seven years and three months.
Nietes’ victory led him to improve his record to 34 wins (20 by knockouts) and one defeat while Velarde’s record became 26-4 with 14 KOs.
In a recent victory press conference, Laura Elorde, wife of the late Gabriel “Flash” Elorde sent a statement that was read by veteran sports analyst Ronnie Nathanielsz:
“When my late husband Gabriel “Flash” Elorde won the world junior lightweight title at the inauguration of the Araneta Coliseum it was a historic occasion that brought endless joy and pride to our country and people, which is the way “Bai” wanted it to be. He fought not for personal glory but for the glory of the Philippines and during his reign of seven years and three months he fought the best in his weight division. Like his dear friend Ronnie Nathanielsz wrote—he feared no man but was humble before all men. That his opponents became his close friends— from Harold Gomes to Teruo Kosaka, Shigeki Kaneko and Carlos Ortiz—reflects the recognition they gave him in return for the respect Bai gave the sport and the men he faced in the ring with quiet dignity.”
“Donnie Nietes in many respects is like Elorde—a simple man from humble beginnings but a true champion who has, by his success, earned the admiration of our people. To us—the members of the Elorde family— Donnie’s surpassing of Bai’s long-standing record is a tribute to his skill, dedication and hard work.”
Pinoy Pride 28: “History in the Making” was made possible through the joint efforts of ABS-CBN Sports and ALA Promotions.