Donnie Nietes made a triumphant in-ring return, outlasting Pablo Carillo with a unanimous decision victory to cop the vacant WBO International Super Flyweight title, Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Caesars Palace in Dubai.
The cards were 99-91 (Judge Ferenc Budai), 98-92 (Zoltan Enyedi), and 96-95 (Giulio Piras).
After an 825-day absence, Nietes, a four-division world champion, had to shake off some rust early.
The veteran that he is, the 38-year-old Negrense was able to recover, displaying the “Ahas” of old in the last four rounds of the bout.
All in all, Nietes landed more jabs, 39 to 21, compared to Carillo. Moreover, Nietes had a 32-percent accuracy with his power shots.
Nietes rose to 43-1-5 (23 KOs) while putting himself in the mix in the crack super flyweight division that also had the likes of Chocolatito Gonzalez, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada, and, of course, Jerwin Ancajas.
It had been a long road back for Nietes.
Back on December 31, 2018, Nietes eked out a split decision win over Kazuto Ioka in Macau to win the vacant WBO World Super Flyweight Championship.
Nietes though had to vacate the belt while his stable ALA Promotions had to dissolve due to the ongoing pandemic.
Carillo of Colombia, 32, fell to 25-8-1 (16 KOs).