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Nietes, Palicte battle to a draw

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Referee Jack Reiss of the US raises the hands of Donnie Nietes (left) and Aston Palicte after their 12-round world title fight yesterday at The Forum in Inglewood, California, ended on a draw. (Jhay Otamias photo)

Referee Jack Reiss of the US raises the hands of Donnie Nietes (left) and Aston Palicte after their 12-round world title fight at The Forum in Inglewood, California, ended on a draw. (Jhay Otamias photo)

by Nick Giongco

Donnie Nietes landed the cleaner punches and the more telling blows Sunday against fellow Filipino Aston Palicte but two of the three judges didn’t think it was enough for him to be awarded a fourth world crown in as many weight classes.

Vying for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-flyweight crown, Nietes and Palicte battled to a 12-round split draw at The Forum in Inglewood, Calfiornia.

With the unpopular draw, the WBO 115-lb throne remains vacant but owing to the disputable decision, they might find themselves doing it one more time to settle the issue.

One judge scored it 118-110 for Nietes while the second saw it 116-112 for Palicte and the third had it 114-114.

Amid the outrage inside his dressing room, Nietes was cool, calm and collected, saying the decision was “part of boxing.”

“I am okay that’s boxing,” said Nietes, 36, who had won world titles at minimumweight (105 lbs), light-fly (108) and fly (112) before deciding to add the 115-lb crown.

Nietes said that dubious decisions have victimized even the best boxers, including Manny Pacquiao.

“Now I know what it feels because Manny Pacquiao also had the same experience,” said Nietes, who now has a 41—1-5 win-loss-draw record with 23 KOs.

“Let us move on and I would welcome a rematch with him,” said the 5-1 Nietes, who admitted getting troubled early by Palicte’s enormous five-inch height advantage and his range.

“Palicte is the tallest of all my opponent and I could not reach him at first,” he added.

Palicte, 27, who now has a 24-1-1 card with 20 KOs, was intense in the first half of the fight and it showed when compubox record that he threw more punches.

After a feeling-out first round, Nietes took the second and third before allowing Palicte to get back in the fourth frame. After that, the two alternated in winning the next rounds although it was apparent in the last few rounds that Nietes was taking control.

In the 12th, Nietes caught Palicte with several thunderous blows to the head and Palicte, a first-timer in a world title fight, was unable to respond, opting to dance away from harm.

Nietes threw a total or 523 punches and landed 194 (37 percent), including 112 of 281 power blows (40 percent). Palicte threw much more with 830 but landed only 124 (15 percent), including 89 of 242 (21 percent ) in terms of power shots.

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