Former four-division titleholder Donnie Nietes got back in action today in Dubai, scoring a decision win over Pablo Carrillo and putting himself back into the mix at 115 lbs.
Nietes (43-1-5, 23 KO) certainly had to shake some rust and didn’t look completely at his best here, and one judge did have it very close, scoring the bout 96-95 for Nietes. But the other two were wider, scoring it 98-92 and 99-91, and Bad Left Hook also had it 98-92.
The 38-yearold Nietes seemed to warm to the fight in the latter stages, looking sharp and sound still in the final four rounds, while Colombia’s Carrillo (25-8-1, 16 KO) never found quite enough success, though he did have some, landing solid shots here and there.
Nietes makes for an interesting veteran wild card in the exciting junior bantamweight division, which boasts Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Chocolatito Gonzalez, Kazuto Ioka, Jerwin Ancajas, and other good fighters. At his age, Nietes competing with those higher-end guys might be a bridge too far, but you never know — he’s a defensively smart and responsible fighter, he did look in good shape physically, didn’t gas or anything, and finished strong.
Nietes picked up a minor WBO belt, which could in theory put him in line looking for a shot at Ioka. Those two met in Nietes’ previous fight in Dec. 2018, with Ioka nicking a controversial and very close split decision in Macau. A rematch may well be in the making.
- Keyshawn Davis RTD-4 Richman Ashelley: Ghana’s Ashelley displayed a lot of personality at the weigh-in and during his entrance. Skills in the ring didn’t match it, but bless him, he did try. He threw some hard shots at Davis. None of them landed or came particularly close, but it was something. The 22-year-old Davis (2-0, 2 KO) just turned pro on Feb. 27 so he got a quick turnaround to stay active here, and a chance to fight in Dubai really early, so there’s that. He was picking Ashelley (10-2, 9 KO) apart in this fight, and the level difference was very clear, very quickly. Davis is a significant lightweight prospect, someone you need to have on your radar already.
- Tursynbay Kulakhmet KO-1 Heber Rondon: Kazakhstan’s Kulakhmaet (3-0, 2 KO) is a legit prospect at 154, and this was being sold on commentary as a “step up” because Rondon came in 20-0, but even a cursory glance of his BoxRec page told you the guy is a 34-year-old with an insanely empty record. To that effect, Kulakhmet about put his head ringside, dropping Rondon (20-1, 13 KO) once and then finishing him off with a brutal, video game-like right hook that snapped the Venezuelan’s head around and put him on the canvas, where he was ruled done, and rightly so. This was not a step up in any remote way from Macaulay McGowan, who was Kulakhmet’s last opponent back in November. In fact, it was a pretty huge step down. People in boxing have got to stop trying to sell “undefeated” records like the one Rondon came in with. What’s the point? You’re only making yourselves look stupid when any Joe Dumbo like me can see on public record how that record came to be.
- Other Results: Fahad Al Bloushi UD-4 Suraj