DONNIE Nietes retained his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight title following a technical knockout win over Carlos Velarde of Mexico Saturday night at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
The end came at the start of the eight round when the Mexican challenger quit on his stool after suffering a bad cut on his left eyebrow following an accidental clash of heads the previous round.
Referee Robert Byrd waved off the fight at the start of the eight round, sparking a wild celebration at the corner of the 32-year-old Nietes, who improved to 34-1-4, including 20 KOs.
The 12-round match served as the main event of Pinoy Pride 28 presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports.
The dominating win lined up the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental of surpassing the record of the late boxing great Gabriel `Flash’ Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world champion. The Bogo, Cebu native was world lightweight champion from 1960 to 1967.
Nietes had been world champion since 2007 when he won the WBO minimumweight crown behind a 12-round unanimous decision over Pornsawarn Kratingdaenggym of Thailand, and then extended his reign by annexing the WBO light flyweight title with a similar 12-round unanimous decision over Ramon Hirales of Mexico in 2011.
The Filipino is actually unbeaten for the past decade after suffering his first and only career loss at the hands of Angky Angkota of Indonesia following a 10-round split decision in 2004.
The fight against Velarde could be Nietes’ last fight at 108-lbs as the star fighter of Cebu-based ALA Boxing Promotion is looking to invade the flyweight division by next year.
Velarde, 24, from Sinaloa, Mexico, fell to 19-1-1 with 11 KOs.