Former 2-weight world champion Donnie Nietes (39-1-4, 22) announced his arrival as a fully fledged Flyweight yesterday with a dominant victory over former WBC Light Flyweight champion Edgar Sosa (52-10, 30), in what was a one sided and rather drama free contest between two genuine veterans, with a lot of respect. With the win Nietes claimed the WBO Inter-Continental Flyweight title and will likely find himself in a world title fight in the near future.
From the opening seconds it was clear that the 34 year old Nietes had much more in the tank than the 37 year old Sosa and the extra zip and speed of the Filipino was on show from very early on, with Sosa's shots foot work looking slower and their was a clear differential in handspeed and overall body movement. Sosa tried to tag Nietes at times but never had the speed or energy to put Nietes under any real pressure at all and the Filipino slowly eased his way in to the contest.
With Sosa looking too slow and too old to trouble Nietes the question of the bout really depended on what Nietes was wanting to do. Was the Filipino looking to test out the weight, see how his body felt after 12 rounds at Flyweight, or was he looking to make a statement and stop the Mexican veteran, who had only been stopped 3 times in his previous 61 bouts dating back 16 years.
Nietes seemed to hurt Sosa in round 2 and and again at the end of round 4, but failed to really jump on his man either time, and instead seemed happy to use the bout as a 12 round public spar against a once brilliant, though now much faded, fighter. As a result the bout was rather frustrating and dull to watch at times, with Nietes happy to coast to the decision and Sosa totally unable to change the tempo of the bout, with his old legs no longer having the energy needed to mount any sort of a serious assault.
It'd be unfair to say it was a poor marker at Flyweight for Nietes, especially given that Sosa's only losses in the last in the last 6 years have come in WBC title fights to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Akira Yaegashi and Roman Gonzalez, but the reality is that Sosa is a long way removed from the man who scored wins against the likes of Ulises Solis and Giovani Segura. For Nietes it was clear that the focus was on getting the win, and he did with all 3 judges scoring the bout a shut out, though the Flyweight division won't be shaking in it's boots following this very controlled performance from "Ahas". However Nietes didn't really show his cards here, he was never forced to reveal anything new and fought well within himself, whilst the performance won't have the division worried it certainly didn't show us anything about how good a Flyweight Nietes could be and he certainly has several extra gears to go through.
We would also like to make people aware in regards to a myth about this bout, it wasn't, as is widely reported, Nietes's "Flyweight debut", he has fought at the weight in the past notably a 2003 contest with Roldan Malinao and it should be noted that a 2012 bout with Danai Meendaeng was fought above the Light Flyweight limit.
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