07/11/2015 Donnie Nietes vs. Francisco Rodriguez Jr.

Date:   Saturday,  July 11, 2015

WBO JR. FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE BOUT

Location:  Cebu City Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Promoter:  ALA Promotions / Michael D. Aldeguer

Supervisor:  Francisco Valcarcel, Esq.

Referee:  Russell Mora

Judges:  Robert Hecko  (119-109);  Benoit Roussel  (115-113);  Lisa Giampa  (118-110)

Results:   The WBO Jr. Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes retained the crown against Francisco Rodriguez Jr. by Unanimous Decision.

TV:  Philippines ABS-CBN   Channel 2

Donnie Nietes vs. Francisco Rodriguez: Fight Time, Date, Live Stream and TV Info

CJdpIWZUcAIWmog  By:  Nate Loop –

If there’s one thing Filipino boxing star Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-1-4, 21 KOs) knows how to do, it’s put on a show in front of his adoring fans in his home country.

Nietes has never lost fighting in the Philippines, and he will put that perfect record to the test on Saturday when he defends his WBO world light flyweight title against Francisco “Titanium” Rodriguez Jr. (17-2-1, 11 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round bout to headline Pinoy Pride 31.

The bout will serve as Nietes’ seventh defense of the WBO title. He is the longest-reigning Filipino world titleholder ever, per RingTV.com’s Anson Wainwright.

The venue is the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City, Philippines. Nietes has fought five times in his career at this venue, most recently a seventh-round retirement win over Carlos Velarde in November 2014.

Rodriguez is an exciting young scrapper and should prove to be tough matchup for the battle-tested Nietes. This bout will be the 21-year-old’s second in Cebu City; he’ll no doubt face a hostile crowd loudly backing its homegrown star.

Here’s a look at the viewing info, followed by a quick preview of the carnage to come.

Nietes vs. Rodriguez Fight Info

Date: Saturday, July 11

TV: ABS-CBN (Philippines), BeIN Sports Espanol (per ESPN’s Dan Rafael)

Time: 12 a.m. ET on BeIN Sports Espanol (tape delay)

Live Stream:  BelN Sports Connect (subscription required)

Fight Preview

Last we saw Nietes in the squared circle, he was busy working over Gilberto Parra in the famed Smart Araneta Coliseum, knocking him down in the eighth round and forcing a retirement in the ninth. It’s been quite some time since Nietes has even seen the scorecards in a bout.

He’s earned stoppages in five of his last six matches, with only Moises Fuentes surviving 12 rounds of Nietes’ sharp counterpunching to scrape out a mixed-decision draw in March 2013 (for the record, Nietes knocked him out just over a year later).

Even on the wrong side of 30, Nietes has shown little sign of slowing down. Ahas certainly still has his bite.

That said, the drive and hunger of a young boxer have toppled an elder opponent many times before. Rodriguez’s record shows he is no slouch, as he quickly worked his way up the ranks in the strawweight/minimumweight division, unifying the WBO and IBF world belts in that class against Katsunari Takayama in August 2014.

BoxingScene.com’s Cliff Rold noted Rodriguez’s bouts are capable of delighting fight fans:

“Matched with Japanese veteran Katsunari Tayakama, Rodriguez had a chance to add the IBF belt to his mantle in a rare 105 lb. unification title. The action was breathless and breathtaking, so thrilling that the great Julio Cesar Chavez rose from his position as a television announcer to cheer for both en in the final round as they let loose well over 100 punches apiece.”

With an opponent like that, it’s little wonder that Nietes’ staff is saying all the right things in the buildup to this bout.

“He [Nietes] is faster, stronger and wiser than his previous bouts, but it doesn’t mean that we are counting Rodriguez out. We know that he prepared very well in this fight because he is very determined to be a world champion too,” said trainer Edito Villamor, per Josef T. Ramos of the Manila Times.

Nietes was still putting time in at the gym as of Thursday, per Rappler.com’s Ryan Songalia:

Nietes will have to rely on every ounce of his experience and guile in the ring to outwit and outhit Rodriguez. Although the latter is moving up in weight class and will be fighting in front of an unfriendly crowd, there isn’t much to suggest that the occasion will faze him.

He’s already fought and won at this location and knows from his strawweight days what it’s like to be a champion. Nietes has but a half-inch reach advantage—65.5″ to 65″, per BoxRec—and both pugilists fight orthodox. This one will likely see Rodriguez trying to push the boxer 12 years his elder early on, testing his stamina.

If Nietes can pace out the fight properly, he should teach Rodriguez a lesson or two in the later rounds. It could be a close bout, one that should provide plenty of eye-popping moments for boxing fans.

Nietes is probably overlooked in the United States and Europe, seeing as his biggest bouts aren’t televised on major outlets and he’s almost always fighting in the Philippines, but as he told Wainwright  after his win over Parra back in March: “There is more to Filipino boxing than Manny Pacquiao.”

Ring Magazine ranks him as the best boxer in the light flyweight ranks. Rodriguez, new to the class, is already 10th in Ring’s estimation. Nietes has done more than enough to justify the praise. Another win over a determined young scrapper would only serve to bolster his already ironclad legacy in Filipino boxing.

Rodriguez might stand to benefit more than Nietes on a global scale should he win. He can take a newfound title back to Mexico and find a host of challengers waiting for him. At his age, reaching the mountaintop in two weight classes would make him quite the draw, even outside of his native country.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2518606-donnie-nietes-vs-francisco-rodriguez-fight-time-date-live-stream-and-tv-info

 

Nietes will prevail in Pinoy Pride 31 – Monico

 

Nietes_Monico.300w  By Jerome S. Galunan Jr. –

BACOLOD CITY, Philippine – Finally, the much awaited face-off between the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) and Ring magazine junior flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-4-1, 21KOs) and Mexican challenger and former unified WBO/International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight world champ Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. (17-2-1,11KO’s) will be realized today a both fighters set to meet in today’s press conference for the Pinoy Pride 31: Clash of World Champions in Cebu City.

Nietes, who hailed from Bacolod and Murcia and also the longest reigning Filipino champion, in a report said that he is looking forward to avenge the loss of his friend, stablemate and fellow Negrense Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo – who lost to Rodriguez last year.

The erstwhile WBO mnimumweight champion Sabillo surrendered his belt to Rodriguez after downed in the 10th round in their title fight in Mexico.

Nietes has been in tough training in ALA gym in Cebu since April to prepare for his face-off with Rodriguez on Saturday, July 11, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

ALA gym’s lead trainer Edmund Villamor has stressed that Nietes has the edge over the Mexican when the bell rings.

“Donnie (Nietes) is more experienced than Rodriguez. He has also an edge in skills, speed and power. And, most importantly has the home court advantage,” Villamor said.

In any sport, home court is always an advantage in which gave an athlete more confidence in fighting before his home crowd. However, this doesn’t apply that much to Nietes as he is also undefeated in all his fights in Mexico – beating down his opponents despite the pressure from the home fans.

But, Villamor reiterated that they won’t be that complacent against Rodriguez as he is a former champion who has an impressive record against Filipino fighters.

Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday said that he believes that Nietes will prevail in this fight. “I know Donnie [Nietes] will prevail in this match because he possesses the proper motivation and guidance under my former [basketball] coach, Antonio’Bidoy’ Aldeguer. And, Donnie has the heart and the will to win,” Puentevella said.

Murcia town Mayor Andrew Montelibano also foresees similar result on the Nietes-Rodriguez face-off. “With the kind of conditioning and training he is in, I believe Donnie [Nietes] will retain his title. I am in contact with him personally and I can see he is more ready than ever,” Montelibano said.

Also featured in Pinoy Pride 31 is co-main event Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo alongside another promising young prospect Kevin Jake Cataraja.

The undefeated Magsayo (10-0) will face Mexican Rafael Reyes (16-4) for the vacant IBF Youth featherweight title while, Cataraja meets Indonesian Ardi Tefa for a 6-round clash.

 

Nietes has advantage vs. Rodriquez – Villamor

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By Jerome S. Galunan Jr.-

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines –Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) and Ring magazine junior flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (35-4-1, 21KOs) of Murcia and Bacolod is well-prepared to take the challenge from Mexican challenger and former unified WBO/International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight world champ Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. (17-2-1,11KO’s) on July 11 for the Pinoy Pride 31: Clash of World Champions at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

This was revealed yesterday by ALA gym’s lead trainer Edmund Villamor adding that the longest reigning Filipino champion has the edge over the Mexican when the bell rings.

“Donnie (Nietes) is more experienced than Rodriguez. He has also an edge in skills, speed and power. And, most importantly has the home court advantage,” Villamor said.

In any sport, home court is always an advantage in which gave an athlete more confidence in fighting before his home crowd. However, this doesn’t apply that much to Nietes as he is also undefeated in all his fights in Mexico – beating down his opponents despite the pressure from the home fans.

But, Villamor reiterated that they won’t be that complacent against Rodriguez as he is a former champion who has an impressive record against Filipino fighters including erstwhile WBO minimumweight champion and Bacolod-hailed Merlito ‘Tiger’ Sabillo.

Murcia town Mayor Andrew Montelibano, earlier, stressed that he also believes that the champion will retain his title.

“With the kind of conditioning and training he is in, I believe Donnie (Nietes) will retain his title. I am in contact with him personally and I can see he is more ready than ever,” Montelibano said.

Also featured in Pinoy Pride 31 is co-main event Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo alongside another promising young prospect Kevin Jake Cataraja.

The undefeated Magsayo (10-0) will face Mexican Rafael Reyes (16-4) for the vacant IBF Youth featherweight title while, Cataraja meets Indonesian Ardi Tefa for a 6-round clash.

This boxing event is presented by ALA Promotions International in partnership with ABS-CBN Sports.(WATCHMEN DAILY JOURNAL)

Photo: World champion and longest reigning Filipino champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes at ALA gym (JAMES TOGA/SCOOP-Bacolod Photo).

http://philboxing.com/news/story-110039.html

2014 Fight of the Year: Francisco Rodriguez Jr. Decisions Katsunari Takayama

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Credit: Photo by Alfredo Lopez / Assoc. Press /

Article by:  Robert Aaron Contreras –

Saturday night, boxing’s smallest carried the entire sport.

Fight fans tuning into the Danny Garcia-headlined event on Showtime were left wanting. As Boxing.com editor-in-chief Robert Ecksel put it: “Golden Boy Promotions, and Al Haymon presented a trio of mismatches that were as painful to watch as they are to write about.”

But 2,000 miles south at Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in Mexico, the best fight of 2014 took place.

In the Fight of the Year, 21-year-old Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (15-2, 10 KOs) unified the WBO and IBF minimumweight world titles with a unanimous-decision victory over Katsunari Takayama (27-7, 10 KOs) to become the No. 1 strawweight in the world.

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Anyone familiar with these two knew there would be excitement. But no one saw this coming.

The bout opened, both fighters were wound up and let loose. They clashed in the center of the ring, and punches bounced off the faces of both men.

Takayama, nicknamed “Lightning,” bounced on his toes. He moved his feet, the most active in the sport, hastily. He advanced in, left his mark and then relocated back out of reach without notice.

“El Chihuas” was ready for this. Takayama’s punches were nothing he couldn’t handle. He’s taken worse, courtesy of Roman “El Chocolatito” Gonzalez, the best combination puncher in the sport. But this isn’t the same wild, two-fisted berserker who was picked apart by Gonzalez 11 months ago. This was a world-class operator, cut with a penchant for violence.

He targeted the body often. Most from Mexico do. But his lead left was something divine this night, especially in the first three rounds where he countered Takayama across the face repeatedly with a splendid left hook.

Rounds 1 and 2 could be argued either way. Takayama’s high output was frantic. His feet were even faster. But Rodriguez’s pace wasn’t too far behind. And his punches were doing more damage.

In the first minute of the third stanza, Rodriguez uncorked a left uppercut that sent Takayama to the mat. The Japanese champion quickly rose, but Chihuas earned a 10-8 score.

Takayama, 31, has been fighting the very best the 105-pound weight class has to offer for nearly a decade now, dating back to 2005 when he beat Isaac Bustos. When Rodriguez slowed down to start Round 4, Lightning struck.

Most of the middle rounds saw Takayama suffocate his young foe with fists, drilling punches into him from every conceivable angle. Action was still high from both sides, but the Japanese veteran got the edge in Rounds 4 through 7, even bullying Chihuas into the ropes.

The fight was beginning to slip away from the hometown Rodriguez. Just 21, he could’ve retired on the stool and still been applauded for his effort at such a high level of the sport. But the roar of 9,000 Mexican fans surely fueled an appetite for glory. He wouldn’t let them down.

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Rodriguez strutted to the center of the ring to begin Round 8. He extended his right fist to his opponent for a customary slap of gloves. Takayama, ever the savvy veteran, accepted his opponent’s gesture while simultaneously cocking back a right hand that crashed into the back of the Mexican’s ear, forcing Rodriguez to give ground.

Cheap-shotted, Chihuas’ punches suddenly looked crisper than ever. He felt disrespected, and violence was on deck.

In the eighth round, this fight went from great to legendary. The final minute in particular is when the ring was engulfed in flames. The exchange of punches by these two men is unparalleled in ferocity and quantity so far this year.

The final four rounds were no different. Forehead to forehead and not a clinch to be had. The fighters traded the center of the ring almost as often as punches thrown. Slinging demonic left hands Takayama’s way, Rodriguez’s punchers were heavier.

To begin Round 12, referee Samuel Viruet brought the two combatants together to touch gloves. This is usually the part where both men, exhausted, coast to the final bell.

But not these two.

Of all the action and terrible warfare through the first incredible 11 rounds, the 12th was unbelievably the best of them all.

Both men planted their feet and lost themselves in a punch-drunk daze like the boxing gods button-mashing their wireless controllers from above. The perfect conclusion to an epic test of will and courage.

The scorecards were read and Rodriguez Jr. was announced the winner by a tally of 115-112, 116-111 and an awry 119-108.

A celebratory corner for Rodriguez lifted their champion above their shoulders and above the entire division. Chihuas has won nine of his past 10 fights, highlighted by a trouncing of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s No. 10 rated Merlito Sabillo and a scintillating victory over No. 2 Takayama. The young Mexican’s resume now includes two wins of more relevance and higher quality than any other active strawweight in the world, including Hekkie Budler (whose best win is over a declining Nkosinathi Joyi).

But Takayama is no loser. Losers don’t fight like he just did. His time at 105 pounds seems over. But for one night and 12 glorious rounds, he paired up with Rodriguez Jr. to lift an entire sport and punch their tickets into boxing lore.

The sport needed a savior Saturday night.

It got two of them.

Link for full fight video:  http://youtu.be/y-vV0iqOtRk

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2158464-2014-fight-of-the-year-francisco-rodriguez-jr-decisions-katsunari-takayama

08/09/2014 Francisco Rodriguez Jr. vs. Katsunari Takayama

Date:  Saturday, August 9, 2014

Unification IBF/WBO  Mini-Flyweight Championship Bout

Location:  Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Promoter:  Promociones Zanfer

Supervisor:   Rolando Marcos Hermoso

Referee:  Samuel Viruet

Judges:  Waleska Roldan, John Madfis, Glenn Trowbridge

Results:    WBO Mini-Flyweight Champion Francisco Rodriguez Jr., retained the title and won the unification IBF Minimumweight Title by Unanimous Decision over Katsunari Takayama.   Takayama was knocked down in the 3rd round.

TV:  Mexico Azteca

(03-22-2014) Merlito Sabillo vs. Francisco Rodriguez Jr.

Date:   Saturday, March 22, 2014

WBO  Mini-Flyweight Championship Title Bout

Location:   Arena Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico

Promoter:   Promociones Zanfer

Referee:  Eddie Claudio

Judges:  Adalaide Byrd, Glenn Feldman, Victor Salomon

Supervisor: Luis Perez

Results:  Francisco Rodriguez, Jr. TKO’ed the champion Merlito Sabillo in the tenth round on Mar. 22, 2014 in Monterrey, Mexico.

SABILLO READY TO DEFEND CROWN AT ENEMY TURF

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By Rich Mazon –

Reigning WBO minimumweight (105 lbs.) champion Merlito Sabillo (23-0-1, 12 KOs) of the Philippines will be defending his world title belt in enemy territory this Saturday evening in Mexico (Sunday morning in the Philippines).

Sabillo, of Negros Occidental, is scheduled to protect his diadem in Monterey, Mexico, hometown of his challenger Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in his third defense of his title.

Team Sabillo, who arrived in Monterey, Mexico from San Diego, California last Tuesday, expressed that despite the apprehension of fighting in his challenger’s hometown, he is confident that his recent training and preparation for this fight will prevail above the ring.

“Siyempre kahit sino naman po ay maalangan kasi nasa teritoryo tayo ng kalaban, pero wala tayong magagawa kasi promotion nila eh. Ang sa akin ay Diyos na lang ang nakakaalam at gagawin ko ang best ko,“ Sabillo told this writer in an interview before leaving for Mexico.

(Of course, anyone will be uncomfortable because we are in enemy territory but we can’t do anything because it is their promotions. For me, only God knows what will happen and that I will do my best.)

But his coach, Edito Villamor, head trainer of the ALA stable, has confidence that Sabillo will fare well against Rodriguez Jr. despite the favorable venue and the hometown crowd for their Mexican counterpart.

“Hindi naman kami alangan (sa paglaban sa Mexico). Sanay naman si Merlito. Noong kinuha niya yung belt ng world title, doon yun sa Colombia. Dito (US) kami nag training camp at magaling naman ang training namin dito kaya wala namang problema sa kanya,” Villamor said.

(We are not uncomfortable (of fighting in Mexico). Merlito is accustomed to fighting elsewhere. When he won the belt for the world title, it was in Colombia. We spent our training camp here (US) and our training is great here and I think there won’t be any problems for him.)

Sabillo and some of his fellow ALA stable mates trained in the States for most part of this camp, under the tutelage of trainers, Edito Villamor and Michael Domingo. They spent time in various boxing gyms in California, sparring against fighters from those gyms. Both boxer and trainer are upbeat that their time spent in training in the US will help them against Rodriguez Jr. who is ranked number 9 by the WBO.

“Malaking tulong, nakapag-training kami ng conditioning training dito under Nick Curson. Maganda naman pinagawa niya, yung mga plyometrics, lahat. Iba talaga, iba ang training dito.” said Villamor.

(It’s a big help, we underwent condition training under Nick Curson. He made them do plyometrics and other stuff. Training here is really different.)

Sabillo admitted that he noticed an improvement on his conditioning after undergoing the various strength and conditioning exercises and that also he expects no difficulty in meeting the 105 pound limit for the fight.

The 30 year-old champion is only three pounds above the weight limit last Sunday, a full week ahead of his fight.

Sabillo, who is not fond of trash-talking, made no guarantees but promised to give his best when he puts his title in the line against Rodriguez Jr.

“Hindi lang ako magsabi ng kung ano sir, basta gagawin ko lahat ng best ko para maipanalo at madepensahan ang aking title belt.”

(I don’t want to say anything sir, except that I will give my very best to win and to defend this title.)

http://philboxing.com/news/story-93083.html

Sabillo Expects Tough Title Defense Against Rodriguez

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By Ronnie Nathanielsz –

WBO minimumweight champion Merlito “Tiger”Sabillo knows he won’t have an easy title defense against Mexico’s Francisco Rodriguez Jr in Monterrey, Mexico on Saturday in a fight to be telecast by ABS-CBN Sports and Action over the revamped Studio 23.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told the Manila Standard that Sabillo watched tapes of Rodriguez’ fights “a number of times” and concedes “it won’t be an easy fight because Rodriguez can box, he is technical fighter who is smart and  can punch” as shown in his record of 9 knockouts in 13 wins with just two defeats.

Aldeguer said that he had spoken to trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor who will be in the corner of Sabillo and that he was informed “training has been perfect and it was the best training camp they ever had.”

Villamor told us that they have been concentrating on “the battle plan after watching tapes and doing some instructional punch-mitts.” He also went through the regular routine of skipping rope, shadow boxing., working om the speed ball and light bagging.”

In his strength and conditioning regimen Sabillo swam in the pool, some plyometrics, sprints, balancing and some exercises on his body to relax his muscles.”

He said they worked on the conditioning of the undefeated southpaw with strength and conditioning coach Nick Carson and that Sabillo who possesses a vicious left hook was in great shape.

Aldeguer said Sabillo, the 30 year old former street fighter from Bacolod City who is undefeated with a record of 23-0-1 with 12 knockouts “wants to make a statement and while it won’t be an easy fight Sabillo is ready to go.”

The ALA Promotions outfit didn’t take any chances and Aldeguer told us “ that’s why Merlito flew to the US to train abroad for this fight” both at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles and in the Daniel Ponce De Leon gym .

He said Sabillo has been “tapering down in San Diego and getting ready for the fight.” He will be joined by ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete who left for the US on Saturday night and will join the team to Mexico.

Knowing how dangerous a challenger Rodriguez is, Aldeguer said thay have “two options and in case Sabillo loses there will be a rematch.”

He said “we have everything prepared and if he does well it will be good for his career.”

Sabillo is coming off a close split draw against undefeated Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua at the Araneta Coliseum last November 30 after scoring a one-punch, 9th round  knockout with a thunderous left hook to the ribs against Colombia’s Jorlie Estrada.

The 20 year old Rodriguez won a 5th round technical decision over Ernesto Guerrero who suffered an apparent rib injury last January 18 after going down by a 7th round TKO to Roman Gonzalez, the undefeated WBA light flyweight champion from Nicaragua  on September 21 last year.

Rodriguez also had two big wins prior to the loss to Gonzales, scoring a 3rd round TKO over Manuel Chango” Vargas on January 26, 2013 and a 5th round TKO over Victor Ruiz on July 13.

 http://www.boxingscene.com/sabillo-expects-tough-title-defense-against-rodriguez–75723