MANILA, Philippines – Donnie Nietes cemented his position as the top 108-pound fighter in the world with a convincing ninth-round technical knockout win over former titleholder Moises Fuentes at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines.
After a closely contested first eight rounds, Nietes caught the hyper-aggressive Fuentes coming in with a counter right hand, stunning him momentarily before convincing him to take a knee. Nietes lost a point for hitting Fuentes when he was on the canvas, but the brief reprieve did little to save the fallen Mexico City native.
Nietes dropped Fuentes once more with a chopping right hand, forcing the referee to halt the bout at the 2:56 mark.
The fight was a rematch of their 2013 majority draw in Cebu, Philippines. The 31-year-old Nietes (33-1-4, 19 KOs) of Bacolod City, Philippines, retained his WBO junior flyweight title while winning the vacant RING 108-pound title. The 28-year-old Fuentes (19-2, 10 KOs) sustained his first loss since 2011.
Nietes has been unbeaten since 2004, when he lost a split decision in Indonesia to a fighter who missed weight by six pounds. He first won the WBO strawweight title in 2007, making four defenses before moving up to win the vacant WBO 108-pound title. Nietes has now defended that belt four times.
After Johnriel Casimero missed weight for last weekend's scheduled title defense against against Mauricio Fuentes and lost his IBF junior fly crown, Nietes joins WBO welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao as one of two champions currently reigning in the Philippines.
Nietes is the first Filipino to capture THE RING title since Sonny Boy Jaro captured the lineal flyweight championship with an upset TKO of Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in 2012.