It's fair to say that we have a lot of really good bouts through out October, with a number of world title bouts looking really good on paper. Sadly however one one of those titles bouts sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of being genuinely disappointing. That's the WBO Light Flyweight title bout between long term champion Donnie Nietes (36-1-4, 21) and the relatively unknown Juan Alejo (21-3, 13). The bout, Nietes's US debut, is clearly to allow the champion to make a statement to US fans who may not have yet seen him in action.
For many fans Alejo is a real unknown, even for fans of the lower weights. Sadly his record, or rather his opposition, is the reason he's so unknown, and why we certainly see this a very disappointing mismatch.
Alejo began his career 0-3, those 3 bouts came against his most notable opposition with one loss coming to world title contender Jose Cabrera and the other two against one time Roman Gonzalez foe Jesus Limones.
Since those 3 bouts Alejo has run up 21 straight wins but the competition has been dire with the most notable name on his record by Jesus Faro, who was easily beaten by Yu Kimura just a few weeks ago. Sadly that level of competition really hasn't qualified, or prepared, Alejo for a world title bout, especially not against a genuine world champion like Nietes.
Sadly for us Alejo's low level of competition has made it very difficult to track down footage of the Mexican. From his record it seems like he can punch a bit but digging deeper into his opponents even his power seems questionable. In one way the lack of footage may help Alejo, with Nietes's team perhaps struggling to get a good read on the Mexican. The reality however is that footage of him being scarce isn't a positive sign of his ability and that probably tells a story of it's own.
Whilst we know little in regards to Alejo we do know a lot about Nietes with the defending champion being one of the staples of the lower weights divisions. In fact Nietes has been a world champion for 8 years across the Minimumweight and Light Flyweight divisions. His run at world level has seen him go 13-0-1, avenging the draw with a stoppage win in a rematch.
Nietes's record tells us a lot about how good he is. His one loss, to Angky Angkotta, is a very disputed and controversial one from back in 2004 and since then he has gone 25-0-3 with wins against the likes of Pornsawan Porpramook, Manuel Vargas, Jesus Silvestre, Mario Rodriguez, Ramon Garcia Hirales, Felipe Salguero, Sammy Gutierrez, Moises Fuentes and Francisco Rodriguez Jr. That might not be the sort of record needed to get into the HOF but it is a very strong resume from a man who has been the forgotten staple of the Filipino boxing scene.
In the ring there is very little Nietes can't do. Naturally he's a very confident counter-puncher, one of the best in the lower weights. Despite being an incredible counter puncher he can fight as an all round boxer and has shown an increasing belief in his punch power, in fact he's stopped 4 of his last 5 foes something that's very different to what the numbers of his record would suggest. He's not perfect but he doesn't do a lot of things wrong and it's hard to see anyone at 108lbs being favoured over him. Saying that however he is 33, and getting on for a lower weight fighter.
Given what we do know Nietes is more proven, he is in great form and looking to impress an audience that may not yet have been won over by him. He will also be hoping to make a statement ahead of a potential show down with Roman Gonzalez, who fights Brian Viloria on the same night. With that in mind we're expecting to see Nietes do a demolition job on Alejo who has been deliberately selected to make a statement again, and is unlikely to last more than 6 rounds.
World Title Previews
The biggest fights get broken down as we try to predict who will come out on top in the up coming world title bouts.