A Look At Donnie Nietes
In today’s segment of “Little But Bad” we take a look at the career of Donnie Nietes. He is a four-time world champion in three weight classes, having previously held the WBO and The Ring magazine light flyweight titles; and the WBO minimumweight title.
He is the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion for 10 years and 8 months and counting, surpassing in 2014 the record set by Boxing Hall of Fame Gabriel “Flash” Elorde in 1967.
Nietes worked as a utility man at the Antonio Lopez Aldeguer (ALA) boxing gym before taking up boxing after being encouraged by the practitioners with whom he socialized.
His Professional Career
In 2003, at the age of 20, Nietes started his career as a professional boxer. On, May 22, 2004, he won the Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) light flyweight title against Joseph Villasis via first-round technical knockout. Nietes was undefeated before losing in his bout against Angky Angkota via 10-round split decision on September 28, 2004. Angkota weighed in six pounds over the weight limit for this fight.
On November 24, 2011, Nietes won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific Minimumweight Title against Heri Amol of Indonesia via second-round knockout. He defended the title twice against Thai boxers Thongthailek Sor Tanapinyo and Sakulpan Pakdee Gym prior to world title fights in minimumweight division.
On September 30, 2007, Nietes fought then undefeated Pornsawarn Kratingdaenggym of Thailand for the vacant WBO Minimumweight World Title in Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel, Cebu City, Philippines. Although Nietes floored Kratingdaenggym in the fourth round, the Thai boxer managed to get up at the final bell. The bout ended in a unanimous decision in favor of Nietes.
Three times, Nietes has been pitted with fighters against whom he was supposed to defend his title, however, all plans have fallen through for undisclosed reasons. Because of this, he was at risk of being stripped off his belt, as WBO rules state that a champion has to defend his title within a year.
After 11 months of inactivity, he finally defended his crown, against Eddy Castro (12-3-1) on August 30, 2008. Nietes (23-1-3, with 14 knockouts) won the fight by technical knockout at 2:49 mark of the second round.
Nietes defended his title for the second time by scoring a unanimous decision victory over Erik Ramirez on February 28, 2009. En route to the win, Nietes sent Ramirez to the canvass four times in separate rounds.
In his third defense, Nietes battled interim champion Manuel Vargas on September 12, 2009. Nietes won the bout by split decision.
On January 23, 2010, Nietes was supposed to defend his WBO title for the fourth time. After a couple of opponents backed out, Mexico’s Jesus Silvestre became the last resort. But because Silvestre wasn’t ranked in the WBO, Nietes’ title wasn’t on the line and the bout was only 10 rounds. In the fight, both boxers did well and appeared strong. In the 10th and final round, he was declared winner by TKO when Silvestre stopped to take a drink of water during the fight, a move that was against the rules.
In his fourth title defense, Nietes fought Mexico’s Mario Rodriguez. The fight took place on August 14, 2010, at the Auditorio Luis Estrada Medina in Guasave, Sinaloa, Mexico. The Filipino pugilist won the bout by unanimous decision with scores of 119-109, 118-110 and 116-112.
Nietes was scheduled to defend his title on March 12, 2011, against mandatory challenger and former champion Raul Garcia (29-1-0). However, less than two weeks before the fight, he announced that he would be vacating his world title and moving up in weight. 0n April 9, 2011, Nietes faced Armando Vazquez (18-5-0) and defeated him via first round knock out.
On October 8, 2011, Nietes defeated Mexico’s Ramón García Hirales via 12-round unanimous decision to win the WBO Light Flyweight title. Nietes defended the title on June 2, 2012 against Felipe Salguero via unanimous decision.
Nietes retained his WBO Light Flyweight title against WBO Minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes on March 2, 2013 via a majority draw.
On November 15, 2014, the Bacolod native successfully defended his WBO and The Ring Light Flyweight titles by stopping Carlos Velarde of Mexico in the 7th round. Nietes became the longest-reigning Filipino world champion on that same day, surpassing the record previously held by Gabriel Elorde.
After breaking Elorde’s record, Nietes successfully defended his title four more times before deciding to move up to the flyweight division. His first flyweight fight was against former WBC light flyweight champion Edgar Sosa on September 24, 2016.