Donnie “Ahas” Nietes delivered a stern warning to mandatory Mexican challenger Moses Fuentes after scoring a third round technical knockout win against Mexican challenger Sammy Gutierrez Saturday night in Pinoy Pride XXIII: Filipinos kontra Latinos Saturday at the Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes dropped Gutierrez twice in the first round with variety of punches, but the Mexican was saved by the bell.
The two-weight world division title holder from Bacolod City continued to pounce on Gutierrez, who refused to back down until the second round.
Nietes, 31, delivered a solid left and followed it up with a devestating right straight that knocked the Mexican out for good in the third round to retain his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight title.
Referee Celestino Ruiz stopped the fight with 2:58 left in the third round.
“Moses (Fuentes) I’m coming for you,” Nietes, who improved to 32-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 18 knockouts, told reporters during a post fight interview at his dugout.
“I know I can do this also to Fuentes and I hope he’ll prepare a lot too when we meet again.”
Nietes and Fuentes, who engaged to a majority draw last March, has received a marching order from the WBO to schedule a rematch early next year most likely in February in Singapore or in any neutral venue.
“I know I can finish the fight in first round but he was saved by the bell. It’s a good fight anyway,” said Nietes, who dedicated his victory to the victims of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Eastern Visayas particularly in Tacloban.
“We dedicated this win to all the victims and survivors,” he said.
Gutierrez, a former WBO minimum weight champion, fell to 33-10 log with 23 knockouts.
Merlito “The Tiger” Sabillo wasn’t convincing as Nietes.
The 29-year-old Filipino champion appeared to be losing to Nicaraguan unbeaten Carlos Buitrago but was saved by a controversial split draw to retain his WBO minimum weight crown.
Judge Levi Martinez scored the fight 115-113 for Buitrago, while Joerg Milke made it 115-113 for the 29-year-old Sabillo, and Takeshi Shimakawa scored it even at 114-114 for the split draw.
Sabillo (23-0-1 log with 12 knockouts) and Buitrago (27-0-1 card with 16 knockouts), who absorbed their first draw in their career, are expected to have a possible rematch next year.
Earlier, former world title challenger Milan Melindo had a rousing ring comeback by posting a unanimous 12-round decision win against Jose Alfredo Rodriguez (29-3 log with 18 knockouts) of Mexico.
Melindo got a favorable 118-110, 118-109, 119-109 scores from the judges to improve to 30-1 slate with 12 knockouts.
Melindo lost to WBO and World Boxing Association flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada last July at the Cotai Arena in Macau.
Jason “El Nino” Pagara (32-2 log with 19 knockouts) beat Vladimir Baez (19-2-2 log with 17 knockouts) of Dominican Republic via unanimous decision in a 10-round light-welterweight clash, while AJ “Bazooka” Banal outlasted Lucian Gonzales of Puerto Rico via unanimous decision in the bantamweight bout.
Banal improved to 30-2 slate with 19 knockouts while Gonzales dropped to 14-8-2 log with three knockouts.
Former world title contender Jimrex “The Executioner” Jaca (38-6-3 slate with 22 knockouts) knocked out Indonesian Wellem Reyk (17-8-3 with five knockouts) in the first round.
JOSEF T. RAMOS