Donnie Nietes makes easy work of Juan Alejo in US debut
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ only current world champion Donnie Nietes retained his WBO/THE RING magazine junior flyweight titles with a 12-round unanimous decision over Juan Alejo at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on Sunday, October 18 (Saturday U.S. time).
Nietes (37-1-4, 21 knockouts) of Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines used his superior jab and experience to outpoint Alejo (21-4, 13 KOs) of Guadalupe, Mexico by the scores of 120-108 on one card and 119-109 on the other two cards.
Nietes found his rhythm in round 4, picking apart Alejo with short potshots, most notably with right uppercuts. Alejo, who was stepping way up in class after fighting exclusively in Mexico, stayed in tough as Nietes teed off with flush right hands that poked through the non-existent defense of “Pinky” Alejo.
A right hand from Alejo opened a small cut over Nietes’ left eye in round 6, which seemed to ignite Nietes, who came out in round 7 looking to finish matters with a right hand and a left hook which snapped Alejo’s head back, before coming back with a right haymaker.
The win was Nietes’ eighth successful defense of the WBO title and his first fight on American soil. The lighter divisions in boxing have gained more attention recently with the rise of current pound-for-pound champion Roman Gonzalez, who stopped Fil-Am boxer Brian Viloria in 9 rounds in a flyweight championship match the same night in New York.
Nietes would seem to be one of the more credible candidates to face Gonzalez in the near future.
“Yes I can beat him,” Nietes told Rappler shortly before the fight. “If that fight will come my way I will train double and study the way he fights.”
Nietes wasn't the only Filipino fighter making his U.S. debut that night. The Cebu-based ALA Promotions was making its first venture in the United States, bringing along young prospects Jason Pagara, Albert Pagara and Mark Magsayo to showcase for American audiences.
Magsayo, 20, of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, Philippines was expected to face a stern test in previously unbeaten Mexican Yardley Suarez, but wound up knocking Suarez (13-1, 8 KOs) down twice in round one to force a stoppage. The young featherweight Magsayo (12-0, 10 KOs) has knocked out his last 6 opponents.
Junior welterweight Jason Pagara (37-2, 23 KOs) had little difficulty in finishing Santos Benavides (25-8-2, 19 KOs), knocking the Nicaraguan to the canvas three times in round two before the referee stopped the fight at the 2:53 mark.
Jason’s younger brother Albert Pagara (25-0, 18 KOs) remained unbeaten with a sixth round knockout of William Gonzalez (27-6, 23 KOs) in their junior featherweight fight. – Rappler.com