by Nick Giongco
Donnie Nietes saved Philippine boxing from getting a double black eye yesterday after a smashing seventh-round stoppage of Argentine mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Reveco in the first defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight crown at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
It was a masterful performance for Nietes, a three-division titleholder who forced Reveco’s corner to throw in the towel after scoring a knockdown courtesy of a furious body attack that was capped by a hybrid hook-uppercut to the jaw.
While Reveco managed to get up, referee Eddie Hernandez Sr. called a halt to the fight after seeing the South American’s handlers toss in the towel in the scheduled 12-rounder that formed a four-fight card dubbed Superfly 2.
Nietes softened up Reveco for the kill just right before the end of the sixth round when a right badly wobbled the challenger, who had to be guided by his cornermen back to the corner.
However, the cobwebs didn’t clear when the seventh started and it looked foolish for Reveco’s corner to let him answer the bell.
Sensing that Reveco had not fully recovered from the smacking that he got a minute earlier, Nietes went after him like a mad man en route to the explosive ending.
The win raised Nietes’ record to 41-1-4 with 23 KOs while the loss dropped Reveco’s mark to 39-3 with 19 KOs.
It is likely that Nietes will be recalled to see action in Superfly 3 either as a flyweight (112 lbs) champion battling a fellow fly titlist or a super-fly facing one marquee name at the 115-lb class.
As a precautionary measure, Reveco, a former world champion, had to be brought to the hospital for observation.