Donnie Nietes champion again, joins Pacquiao, Donaire in elite company

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 31 2018 07:53 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2019 08:40 PM

Donnie Nietes defeated Kazuto Ioka of Japan via split decision to win the world junior-bantamweight championship in Macao, Monday night. Philip Fong, AFP

(UPDATED) Donnie Nietes defeated Kazuto Ioka of Japan via split decision to win the world junior-bantamweight championship in Macau, Monday night.

Thus, Nietes joined Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipino boxers who have won world titles in at least four weight divisions.

Two of the judges at the Wynn Palace Cotai ringside scored 118-110 and 116-112 in favor of the Murcia town, Negros Occidental native, while one judge gave Ioka 116-112.

Nietes once held the belt in the mini-flyweight, junior-flyweight, and flyweight classes.

He engaged the younger Japanese fighter into a tactical, toe-to-toe battle, scoring big with his right uppercut-right hook combo every time he found an opening.

Although Ioka came up with some power shots of his own, he had trouble defending himself from Nietes' well-timed overhand rights.

Ioka made some adjustments in the final rounds, opting to fight Nietes from a distance instead of going head-to-head with the Filipino. But the move proved too late, as Nietes walked away with the World Boxing Organization crown.

With the win, he improved his record to 42-1 while handing Ioka's second career defeat in 25 fights.

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