By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes who suffered two cuts in his successful title defense against WBO minimum weight champion Moises Fuentes has had a total of 12 stitches, five on the right eye where the cut was caused by a punch and seven on the left which was a nasty gash opened up by an accidental clash of heads last Saturday in Cebu.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told the Manila Standard that Nietes also had stitches on the inside which is now normal in such situations.
Meantime, Aldeguer said he hasn’t spoken to Nietes yet about the possibility of a rematch with Fuentes after his handlers, manager Jorge Barrera and three time world champion Marco Antonio Barrera said they would demand a rematch from the WBO.
Cebu-based Mexican Mike Lopez who helps out Hispanic fighters when they come to Cebu quoted Barrera who said “I will make an immediate request with the WBO president “Paco” Valcarcel about this fight, that we want an immediate rematch. We are willing to come back here for the rematch but without a Filipino judge.”
Barrera was referring to Atty. Danrex Tapdasan who scored the fight 115-113 for Nietes while the two American judges Adalaide Byrd and Pat Russell both scored it an even 114-114 which resulted in Nietes retaining the title on a majority draw in what the officials described as an “very close, exciting fight.”
The Fuentes camp had earlier objected to the assignment of Tapdasan but WBO fight supervisor and vice president for the Asia-Pacific region Leon Panoncillo stood by the appointment of Tapdasan and said the officials were chosen not merely for their competence but also “their integrity and honesty.”
Aldeguer said he will “look at the possibilities of a bigger fight out there” for Nietes who has reigned as WBO minimum and WBO flyweight champion over the past six years and whose goal is to eclipse the record of the late, great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who retained his title as world junior lightweight champion for almost seven-and-a-half years.
Lopez said he was told by Fuentes that he was hurt by a solid punch from Nietes in the opening round and conceded that the Filipino world champion had power in his punches but he was able to handle his power.
Fuentes added, “I know I had Nietes hurt many times, but the true warrior that Nietes is, he fought and fought. I have a lot of respect for Nietes, and let’s fight again.”