DONNIE Nietes felt at home right away as a flyweight and indicated he’ll likely stay in the division despite the recent decision of Juan Estrada to relinquish his International Boxing Federation (IBF) and World Boxing Association (WBA) titles.
The 34-year-old Filipino had a rousing debut at 112 lbs., scoring a 12-round unanimous decision over former world champion Edgar Sosa on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
“Kumportable talaga ako sa 112 (lbs). No problem sa weight, kaya feeling ko mas comfortable ako sa loob ng ring,” said Nietes after headlining the main event of the 38th edition of the longtime boxing series Pinoy Pride.
Nietes relinquished his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight title last July in pursuit of a supposed hefty showdown with Estrada. To his dismay, the lanky Mexican conqueror of Filipino fighters such as Brian Viloria and Milan Melindo, decided to move up in weight just days before Nietes’ duel with Sosa.
Left out, the longest reigning Filipino world champion did the most to test his power and skills at flyweight by going 12 rounds against Sosa, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) light-flyweight title holder from Mexico.
Twice he staggered the 37-year-old Mexican, but didn’t force himself to go for a knockout and instead settled for a decision.
“Hindi ko na rin hinabol ang knockout, basta impressive ang panalo,” said Nietes, who improved to 39-1-2, with 22 KOs. “Mas okay na din ang naka 12 rounds ako sa loob. Magandang test.”
Although not as fast and fierce as he once was, Sosa still left an imprint on the Filipino champ.
“Tinamaan din naman ako. Malakas si Sosa,” he said.