Miscommunication at Play as Donnie Nietes and Norbelto Jimenez Fight Ends in a Draw
Filipino four-divisional champion Donnie Nietes (43-1-6, 23ko) was in action for the second time in 2021 since returning to the ring after a two-year layoff. This bout, he matched against WBA #15 ranked super flyweight Norbelto Jimenez (30-9-6, 16ko) .
Jimenez, fighting out of Republica Dominicana is a two-time WBA super flyweight title contender. Unfortunately, he came up short on both attempts. In 2014, he got a draw against then-champion Kohei Kono and suffered a unanimous decision defeat at the hands of Khalid Yafai in June 2019.
Nietes is a well-known fighter with an impressive resume. He captured titles from the minimumweight to the super flyweight divisions. In 2018, He disappeared off the scene after defeating current WBO champion Kazuto Ioka. Now back in the ring, the #2 (WBO), #3 (WBA), and #6 (WBC) contender is looking to mix things up again. However, fans wonder, how much does the 38-year-old have left?
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THE EXPERIENCE AND POWER ON DISPLAY EARLIER
Nietes instantly showed that championship pedigree as he landed two hard right-hands that had Jimenez in trouble early in the fight. However, Jimenez showed some toughness by rallying back up, using the jab, and landing a good body shot.
As the fight continued, both men were having success. Jimenez landed the left uppercut and a good right hook to the body. However, Nietes was using his footwork to get inside, landing different variations of the right hand and wobbling his opponent. He ended every combination with good hooks to the body.
Heading towards the final rounds, Jimenez for some reason was fighting on cruise control. Yet he still kept landing the uppercut in close and a solid right-hand at times. The four-divisional champion continued to find a home for the right hand while picking up the tempo with more body shots.
THE CHALLENGER CAME TO FIGHT
In the eighth round, in the closing seconds, both men went to war! They threw every punch with knockout intention. Nietes connected a brutal body shot followed by a left hook as Jimenez landed a brutal left hook to the body and head, thumping his chest when the bell sounded.
Jimenez did not fight the last two rounds with any sense of urgency. He continued to drive in cruise control while Nietes came forward, pressing the action with a sharp jab and counter right-hand.
A STRANGE AND CONFUSING ENDING
When the finally bell sounded, Jimenez’s corner was preparing as if there were more rounds to go. Meanwhile Nietes was walking around the ring waving at the crowd. The ring announcer took the blame for calling the fight a twelve-round bout. This explains why Jimenez did not press the action earlier on.
Visibly upset, Jimenez stood in the middle of the ring as the fight was declared a draw. The commentary team explained the Nietes’ WBO International super flyweight title was on the line. However, they changed the fight to ten rounds instead of twelve. During the post-fight interview, Jimenez claims they never received that information.
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By: Garrisson Bland