Boxing

Donnie Nietes claims WBO Junior Bantamweight title, beats Kazuto Ioka in Macau

Donnie Nietes, Kazuto Ioka

Fighting out of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, 36, recently won another title. On December 31, 2018, he and Kazuto Ioka, 29, of Tokyo, Japan competed for the vacant World Boxing Organization Junior Bantamweight title at the Wynn Palace of the Cotai Arena in Macau.

Leon Panoncillo served as the supervisor of the contest while Robert Byrd was the referee. The judges were Levi Martinez, Samuel Nieto and Patricia Morse Jarman.

After 12 rounds, the WBO Junior Bantamweight title bout between Nietes and Ioka was left in the hands of the judges. Martinez scored it 118-110 and Jarman scored it 116-112 both in favor of the Filipino boxer while Nieto scored it 112-116 in favor of the Japanese boxer.

In the end, Byrd raised the hand of Nietes, who was declared the winner via split decision. This improved the professional boxing record of the Negros Occidental native to 42 wins, 1 loss and 5 draws.

On September 8, 2018, Nietes competed against his fellow Negros Occidental native Aston Palicte, 27, for the WBO Junior Bantamweight title in Inglewood, California, United States. The bout ended in a draw.

Nietes was born in Murcia, Negros Occidental on May 13, 1982. He has been competing professionally since 2003.

The first title Nietes held was the Philippine Boxing Federation Junior Flyweight title. He earned the title on May 22, 2004 by knocking out his fellow Filipino boxer Joseph Villasis, 41.

On November 24, 2006, Nietes won the then vacant WBO Asia Pacific Mini-Flyweight title by knocking out Heri “Bayi Ajaib” Amol, 35, of Kupang, Indonesia. The two competed in Mandaue City, Philippines.

On September 30, 2007, Nietes won his third title by defeating another Thai opponent. He earned the then vacant WBO Mini-Flyweight title by defeating Somporn “Pornswan Porpramook” Seeta, 40, of Sa Kaeo, Thailand via unanimous decision in Cebu City, Philippines.

On October 8, 2011, Nietes won the WBO Junior-Flyweight title by defeating Ramon “Principe” Garcia Hirales, 36, of La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico via unanimous decision in Bacolod, Philippines. On September 24, 2016, the Filipino boxer won the then vacant WBO Intercontinental Flyweight title by defeating Edgar Sosa, 39, of Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico via unanimous decision in California, United States.

On April 29, 2017, Nietes won the then vacant International Boxing Federation Flyweight title. He defeated Komgrich Nantapech, 29, of Bangkok, Thailand via unanimous decision in Cebu City.

By defeating Ioka, Nietes became of the only three active Filipino boxers who have won world titles in at least four weight divisions. The other two are Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, 40, of General Santos City, Cotabato del Sur, Philippines and Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr., 36, of Talibon, Bohol, Philippines.

On the other hand, Ioka now has 23 wins and 2 losses. The only boxer who defeated him before he faced Nietes was Amnat Ruenroeng, 39, of Chonburi, Thailand.

On May 7, 2014, Ioka and Ruenroeng competed for the International Boxing Federation World Flyweight title at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan. After 12 rounds, referee Mark Calo-oy raised the hand of the Thai boxer as the winner via split decision.

Here is a clip featuring the bout between Nietes and Ioka:

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