DONNIE Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino world champion, put on a masterful performance to score a shutout victory over former WBC world light flyweight champion Edgar Sosa and win the WBO Intercontinental flyweight title.
Sosa, who made 10 successful title defenses, was no match for Nietes, who wielded his stinging left jab like a rapier and his right like a scalpel, to cut to shreds the Mexican’s hopes of making an impact in the main event of the Philippines vs Mexico fight card at the StubHub Center in California.
A good crowd clearly enjoyed the fights staged by ALA International Promotions, in cooperation with ABS-CBN and The Filipino Channel.
Nietes, who is ranked No. 1 flyweight by the WBO, completely outclassed Sosa, who was ranked No. 5 by the WBC, with all three judges in Max DeLuca, Alejandro Rocin and Pat Russell having Nietes the winner by a 120-108 shutout.
This demonstrated the class, the skill and the resolve of ALA Gym’s national legend, who aims to become a world champion at 112 pounds after having earlier ruled as minimum weight and light flyweight champion for over nine years before he decided to relinquish his title and go after bigger-named fighters at 112 pounds.
Nietes, a veteran of 15 world title fights, wobbled Sosa a number of times with his uppercuts and right straights, but never lost his composure by recklessly going for a knockout even as he sidestepped or blocked anything the Mexican threw at him with ease.
Sosa’s cornerman Jorge Barrera, brother of Mexican legend Marco Antonio Barrera, kept pleading with Sosa to throw more punches going into the championship rounds, because he was losing the fight, telling him: “If you want to win you have to throw more punches.”
Nietes’ trainer Edmund Villamor, his brother and former two-time title challenger Edito “Ala” Villamor and cutman Dr. Ed De La Vega told Nietes to stick to his fight plan, “throw the jab and use the right hand as a counter when Sosa throws his jab.”
Nietes executed this with precision, prompting ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo to refer to Nietes as “Doctor,” because of his surgical perfection in the ring.
With the Filipino fans chanting “Nietes! Nietes!,” it was obvious that Sosa needed a knockout to salvage a win, with his corner telling him: “Fight for your country, your people and your family.”
But their efforts to motivate Sosa failed against the total domination of Nietes to the utter delight of the predominantly Filipino crowd, while a few Mexicans, who carried banners extolling Sosa, felt a major letdown but had no complaints.
In a post-fight interview, Nietes said he didn’t take any chances although he wanted to go for a knockout but that Sosa was resilient.
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