World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and returning Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. made the country proud when they demolished their respective foreign rivals on Saturday night at the Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes, 32, displayed his superior technical boxing skills to score a technical knockout victory over Mexican challenger Gilberto Parra (19-3 win-loss record with 17 knockouts) in the ninth round to keep his WBO belt and the Ring Magazine junior flyweight belt.
“He tried to deceive me with his footwork and body shots, but it didn’t go well,” said Nietes (35-14 record with 21 knockouts) during the post-fight interview. “I hurt him so bad in the seventh and eighth rounds with my vicious right hook. He didn’t engage after that.”
After being hit by Nietes’ right hook and uppercut combinations in the eighth and ninth rounds, Parra ran and hugged Nietes most of the time to avoid being knocked out.
Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight before the tenth round because of a severe cut in Parra’s left eye.
Donaire proved that he deserves to remain at the world boxing elite level after demolishing Brazilian William Prado (22-4-1 record with 15 knockouts) via a second round technical knockout to the delight of a jampacked crowd.
With a 34-3 record with 22 knockouts, he unleashed crisp punches to the defenseless Prado, who could not do anything but hide his face.
Veteran referee Bruce McTavish was forced to stop the fight after seeing Prado absorbing Donaire’s wrath and power.
“We knew we had a lot of power and we knew this guy was a tough guy,” Donaire, 32, said. “My dad was saying be careful and what punches he’ll throw. By being first, we were able to take away his weaponry, but we didn’t expect him to be down as fast as he did.”
This was Donaire’s first fight since he was battered by Nicholas Walters in October 2014.
In other fights, Prince Albert Pagara (23-0 record with 16 knockouts) knocked down Rodolfo Hernandez (26-6-1 record with 24 knockouts) in the fifth round to stay undefeated, while Japanese Ryo Akaho took the WBO International bantamweight title with a fourth round technical knockout win over Prosper Ankrah of Ghana.
Malacañang congratulated Donaire and Nietes, saying the two boxers demonstrated the will and resilience that Filipinos are known for.
“The Filipino people take pride once more with the remarkable victory of Nonito Donaire Jr. against Brazilian boxer, William Prado, and with the win of Donnie Nietes in defending his WBO [World Boxing Organization] junior flyweight championship,” its spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.