DONNIE Nietes showed he hasn’t lost a step as he dominated Pablo Carillo of Colombia in his comeback fight on Saturday night at the Caesars Palace Bluewaters in Dubai.
The 38-year-old four-time world champion came away with a unanimous decision win against Carillo to herald his ring return after a 27-month layoff in the undercard of the Jamel Herring-Carl Frampton title fight for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight championship.
Nietes won by scores of 96-95, 98-92, 99-91 to improve his record at 43-1-5 (23 KOs).
The victory kept the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental still unbeaten the last 17 years, and most importantly, got him back in the mix for a lucrative title fight with any of the top three superstars of the super-flyweight division in Juan Estrada, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Nietes hasn’t fought since scoring a split decision win over Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve of 2018 to win the vacant WBO super-flyweight crown in Macau.
He later relinquished the crown as he refused a rematch against fellow Filipino Aston Palicte. Nietes and Palicte fought to a split draw in their Sept. 2018 showdown for the same WBO title in Inglewood, California.
Although a bit tentative in his first fight coming back, Nietes still proved to be the better fighter against the 32-year-old Carillo, ranked no. 8 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) who fell to 25-8-1 (16 KOs) record following the loss.