Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-1-4) continued his reign as he successfully defended his WBO world flyweight belt against Mexico’s Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (17-2-1) via unanimous decision in the main event of Pinoy Pride 31 held at the Cebu Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Cebu City, Saturday night.
In a hard-fought battle between two champions, Nietes dictated the fight early with his crisp combinations but the young challenger was able keep the fight close thanks to his counter punches that gave the Filipino champion a cut in the fourth round.
Midway through the fight, the boxing pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental was able to adjust to his opponent’s aggressive style, slowing his challenger down with body shots which enabled him to take the driver seat until the final bell. Judges scored the bout 115-113, 119-109, 118-110, all in favor of Nietes.
“Nahirapan ako kasi may iniinda ako during the fight,” revealed Nietes. He also added that he will take a rest after this fight for his hand to recuperate.
On the other hand, Rodriguez Jr. thought the fight was close that could have gone either way but didn’t felt any bias from the officials.
“We expect the result to be at least split (decision) because we hit him (Nietes) with multiple hard shots especially in the 10th round,” Rodriguez told Tiebreakertimes. “But I respect the decision because the referee did his job and I didn’t feel any bias (in the fight).”
The win gives Nietes his 36th overall in 41 fights and hasn’t lost since 2004, while the 22-year old Rodriguez Jr. drops to 17 wins 3 losses and 1 draw.
In the co-main event, 20 year old ALA sensation Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo (10-0) scored a thrilling fifth round knockout victory over 19 year old Rafael Reyes (16-4) to win the IBF Youth Featherweight Championship. Magsayo bucked a slow first round performance in finding his footing in the latter rounds. “Magnifico” fought a more methodical game in counter-punching the aggressive Mexican.
After scoring a knockdown at the third round, the fight was then marred by constant fouls that resulted to a slow-paced fight. In the fifth round, Magsayo turned up the volume in scoring huge combinations. “Magnifico” capped off the amazing round with a huge uppercut that knocked Reyes out. The match ended at the 2:29 mark of the fifth round with Mark Magsayo winning the IBF Youth Featherweight Championship.
Meanwhile, Filipino pugilists Roli Gasca and Kevin Jake Cataraja were also triumphant in their respective bouts. Gasca snapped his two fight losing streak after he made quick work of Indonesian Rasmanudin, winning via knockout at the 24 second mark in the second round. Cataraja on the other hand, made a successful pro debut, after dropping Ardi Tefa in the 6th round of their fight.
Here are the full results for Pinoy Pride 31:
Pinoy Pride 31: Clash of World Champions Results
July 11, 2015 – Cebu Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Cebu City
WBO World Light Flyweight Championship: Donnie Nietes def. Francisco Rodriguez via unanimous decision (115-113, 119-109, 118-110) to retain championship
IBF Youth Featherweight Championship (10 rounds): Mark Magsayo def. Rafael Reyes via knockout (5th round, 2:29) to win championship
Minimumweight Bout (8 rounds): Vic Saludar (9-1) def. Michael Kaibigan (3-2-2) via knockout (4th round, 1:54)
Featherweight Bout (8 rounds): Roli Gasca (22-6-1) def. Rasmanudin (19-9-3) via knockout (2nd round, 0:24)
Lightweight Bout (8 rounds): Elmo Traya (8-1) def. Bryan Macamay (9-2-2) via knockout (3rd round, 1:47)
Bantamweight Bout (6 rounds): Carlo Demecillo (3-2) def. Virgel Vitor (4-0) via unanimous decision (58-55, 57-56, 57-56)
Bantamweight Bout (6 rounds): Raul Yu (6-1) vs. Richard Sueno (2-0-1) bout ends in a split draw (58-56, 57-57, 58-56)
Cruiserweight Bout (6 rounds): Jorge Kahwagi (11-0) def. Ramon Olivas (13-3) via technical knockout (1st round, 0:57)
Flyweight Bout (4 rounds): Kevin Cataraja (1-0) def. Ardi Tefa (6-4) via knockout (6th round, 2:19)