Los Angeles—Donnie Nietes still hasn’t lost a fight in 14 years, but a controversial draw Saturday with Filipino compatriot Aston Palicte denied his dream of a world title in a fourth different weight class.
Judges scored the 12-round showdown for the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight title 118-110 for Nietes, 116-112 for Palicte and a 114-114 draw at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
Nietes, 36, saw his record move to 41-1 with five drawn as his unbeaten streak since 2014 went to 34 fights -- 30 wins with a fourth draw.
Palicte, 27, now has a record of 24-2 with one drawn.
Punch count statistics saw Nietes, 36, land 194 punches, 70 more than Palicte, his 40 percent of punches landed was nearly twice the accuracy rate of his rival.
While not beaten, Nietes was denied a victory that would have put him alongside Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as the only Filipino fighters with world titles in four weight classes.
Nietes became the WBO minimumweight world champion in 2007, the WBO world light-flyweight champion in 2011 and the International Boxing Federation world flyweight champion in April 2017.
He moved up in weight to try for the title feat and gave Palicte, coming off a career-long nine-month layoff, his first world title opportunity.
Nietes suffered his only loss in a split-decision defeat to Indonesia’s Angky Angkotta in Jakarta in September 2004.
Palicte and Nietes exchanged their first sustained flurries of hard blows in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Nietes generally landed more punches by picking apart his younger and larger rival, moving well and coming inside at times to answer powerful Palicte right hands with punishing left hooks and rights of his own.
Meanwhile, former champion Shawn Porter defeated Danny Garcia by a unanimous decision late Saturday to win the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title.
The 30-year-old American won on all three judges scorecards as he threw more punches overall, but Garcia made it razor close by landing a higher percentage of punches at the Barclays Center arena in New York.
It turned out to be a terrific 12-round, 147-pound slugfest as two judges had it 115-113 while the other scored it 116-112. The judges agreed on only four rounds.
Porter solidified his position as being one of the best welterweights in boxing’s deepest division.
“This title means a lot to me,” said Porter. “It means a lot to the history and I wanted to be part of that.”
He is hoping this victory lands him a chance to avenge a loss to unbeaten Keith Thurman, or a unification fight with Errol Spence.
Porter bulled his way through the fight, coming straight ahead and smothering Garcia with jabs and body shots to improve his record to 35-1 with 20 KOs in front of the crowd of 13,000.
“He tried to out hustle me mostly at the end of the rounds. His hustle game was up tonight. I did my best to fight from the outside and the inside,” said Porter.
Garcia made his made his mark in the division with brilliant counterpunching skills, but he also had his left hook working well against the fellow American as the two traded rounds throughout most of the fight.
Garcia suffered just the third loss of his career to go with 28 victories.
“I thought I won this fight,” said Garcia.
Porter beat Devon Alexander in 2013 for the International Boxing Federation welterweight title and defended that crown twice before losing it by majority decision to Britain’s Kell Brook in 2014.