NOW Donnie Nietes gets to experience what the great Manny Pacquiao went through six years ago.
The camp of the three-time world champion believed Nietes was denied of his due after his World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-flyweight title fight against compatriot Aston Palicte ended in a split draw Sunday at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
The 36-year-old Nietes was an overwhelming winner in one card (118-110), but the other saw it in favor of the 27-year-old Palicte (116-112), and the third had it a draw (114-114).
While not trying to belittle Palicte, who is nine years younger and enjoyed a four-inch height advantage against his experienced opponent, Nietes trainer Edito Villamor pointed out was he said was very obvious.
“It was by wide margin. Donnie won the fight,” said Villamor in a short message sent to SPIN.ph after the 12-round match, which served as co-main event of the ‘Superfly 3’ series that also featured the World Boxing Council (WBC) super-flyweight title eliminator between Juan Francisco Estrada and Felipe Orucuta.
Message sent to Palicte himself, hasn’t been answered yet as of post time.
Nietes’ trainer even likened the loss to the one Pacquiao suffered at the hands of Tim Bradley during their WBO welterweight title showdown in 2012 in which the Filipino ring icon also lost by a controversial split decision despite being the dominant fighter between the two.
“Nararamdaman namin ngayon yung nangyari noon kay Pacquiao nung lumaban siya kay Bradley,” said Villamor. “Panalo (dapat), pero heartbroken.”
While CompuBox is not used as basis to score a fight, Nietes obviously led Palicte as per the computerized punches scoring system is concerned.
Nietes, from Murcia, Negros Occidental, connected 40 percent of his power shots (112-of-281), landed 37 percent of his total punches (194-of-523), and 34 percent of his jabs (82-of-242).
Palicte, the former amateur standout from Bago, Negros Occidental, connected 89 of 423 power shots (21 percent), only landed 15 percent of his total punches (124-of-830), and just had nine percent accuracy on his jabs.
But Villamor said they can no longer do anything about the result.
“Ganyan talaga ang boksin,” he stressed.
Nietes and his entourage is set to return to the country on Monday and will have a short stopover in Manila before proceeding to Cebu City.
Villamor said no concrete plan is yet on the horizon for Nietes, who held world titles at the minimumweight, light-flyweight, and flyweight divisions as the longest reigning Filipino world champion of all time.
But a rematch with Palicte is one the ALA boxing stable stalwart would certainly not turn down.