Boxing: Donnie Nietes captures WBO Super Flyweight World Championship
Santino Honasan on Dec 31, 2018 08:06 PM
Donnie Nietes is now a four-division boxing world champion after defeating Kazuto Ioka to become the new WBO Super Flyweight World Champion (FILE PHOTO)
The second time was the charm for Filipino boxing star Donnie "Ahas" Nietes, as on his second attempt, he finally captured the WBO Super Flyweight World Championship.
Nietes outworked Japanese star Kazuto Ioka at the Wynn Palace in Cotai, Macau on New Year's Eve to earn a split decision decision win and become a four-division boxing world champion.
The younger Ioka started out strong, keeping Nietes at bay with piston-like jabs to take the first round.
Nietes began to find his rhythm in the succeeding rounds, as he slowly began to outwork Ioka, landing well-placed hooks and uppercuts and forcing the Japanese star to switch up his movement.
The 36-year old Murcia, Negros-native continued to frustrate Ioka as the fight progressed.
Sensing a bit of urgency, Ioka began to rally back in the ninth round, pushing forward and taking advantage of Nietes, who began to slow down a bit.
Ioka continued to push the pace in the tenth round as closed the gap between himself and Nietes.
Nietes regained a bit of steam in the final two rounds, keeping active as Ioka tried to end the fight strong and sway the judges' decision.
At the end of 12 rounds, it was Nietes who walked away with the split decision win (118-110, 112-116, 116-112) to capture the WBO's 115-pound title and make history at the end of 2018.
With the title win, Nietes now joins fellow legends Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipinos to capture four world championships in as many weight divisions.