Nietes stops Reveco; Arroyo outpoints Cuadras

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Manny Pacquiao, of course, is one of the greatest fighters in boxing history and sits atop the list of the all-time best from the Philippines with 1960s junior lightweight world champion Gabriel “Flash” Elorde and 1920s flyweight champion Pancho Villa behind him.

But Donnie Nietes continued to make his case that he belongs in the conversation right behind Pacquiao as he retained his flyweight world title in a dominating seventh-round knockout of former two-division titlist and mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Reveco on the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Juan Francisco Estrada undercard on Saturday night at The Forum.

“I’m very proud to defend my title in front of all the Filipino fans here in Los Angeles,” Nietes said. “I’m not sure if I’ll stay at this weight or move up. I want the biggest fights possible.

“There was talk of me fighting ‘Chocolatito’ (Roman Gonzalez). I would love to fight ‘Chocolatito’ or the winner of the main event. I want to fight the biggest fights.”

Nietes, 35, who has won world titles in three weight classes, retained his flyweight belt for the first time and continued a stellar run.

He remained unbeaten since 2004 and has won world titles at strawweight, where he made four title defenses; junior flyweight, where he made nine, and then last April he faced Thailand’s Komgrich Nantapech for vacant flyweight title and won a unanimous decision.

Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) took control immediately with a steady jab against the slower Reveco. The crowd grew restless in the third round, raining boos on the lack of action but Nietes continued to stuff jabs in Reveco’s face and mix in right hands.

Reveco (39-4, 19 KOs), 34, of Argentina, who struggled to make weight on Friday and needed a second attempt to do so, looked lethargic throughout the fight.

As the sixth round was ending, Nietes caught him with a short right hand that badly wobbled Reveco, who looked out of sorts as he went back to his corner.

The one-minute rest period was not enough for Reveco to recover. Nietes attacked him at the start of the seventh round and blasted him with a right hand that badly hurt him. Nietes then ripped him with three body shots and a left hand to the head for to knock him down. Reveco beat referee Eddie Hernandez Sr.’s count but Revco’s corner threw in the towel and Hernandez waved off the fight at 53 seconds.

Nietes’ dominance was reflected in the CompuBox punch statistics. He landed 100 of 407 blows (25 percent) and Reveco landed only 40 of 318 punches (13 percent).

Reveco, who has won world titles at junior flyweight and flyweight, saw his three-fights winning streak come since losing a flyweight title rematch in December 2015 to Kazuto Ioka. Revco, w ho was fighting in the United States for the first time, was sent to the hospital as a precaution immediately following the fight.

Arroyo outpoints Cuadras

McWilliams Arroyo has had two world title shots and put himself in position to possible get a third with a majority decision win against former world titleholder Carlos Cuadras.

One judge scored the fight 95-95 but was overruled by the two who gave the fan-friendly fight to Arroyo with scores of 98-92 and 97-93.

“People underestimated me because I hadn’t fought in almost two years,” said Arroyo, who had not fought in the 22 months since he lost a one-sided decision to then-flyweight world champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, also at The Forum. “But I was always in the gym and always prepared to fight. When the opportunity came to fight Carlos Cuadras, I knew I was ready and I knew I would win. I want to fight the winner of the main event and I will beat them also and show I am the best fighter in the division.

Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KOs), 29, of Mexico, who defeated Sor Rungvisai to claim a world title in 2014, lost his second fight in a row after having lost a close decision to Estrada in a title elimination fight on the undercard of the first “Superfly” card in September.

It was a spirited fight from the outset with Arroyo (17-3, 14 KOs), 32, of Puerto Rico, connecting with powerful punches and Cuadras turning the tables in the second round when he badly rocked Arroyo with a right hand that turned his legs to jelly.

An accidental head butt in the seventh round opened a small cut over Arroyo’s right eye, but the corner did a good job of closing the wound.

“For some reason I felt tight all night long, very stiff,” Cuadras said. “I couldn’t let go with punches like I wanted to.”

The fight was Cuadras’ first under the guidance of star trainer Abel Sanchez.

“Arroyo fought a very smart fight,” Sanchez said. “Cuadras was not able to get off.”

Dalakian claims vacant flyweight belt

Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian easily outboxed and outpunched former flyweight and junior flyweight world titleholder Brian Viloria to win a vacant flyweight world title. All three judges scored the fight 118-110. also had Dalakian winning, 117-110.

“I am very proud to be a new world champion for Ukraine, home of many world champions,” Dalakian said. “I was in control the whole fight. I knew I was hurting him. I want to stay at this weight and fight as many other titleholders as possible. I love fighting here in America, I love fighting in Los Angeles and I can’t wait to fight here again.

Dalakian (16-0, 11 KOs), 30, who was fighting outside of Ukraine for the first time and facing his first name opponent, used his height and reach advantage to frustrate Viloria, who had to lunge to get inside throughout the fight. It rarely worked and when it did, Dalakian was there to meet him head on and connect with right hands. One of them appeared to rattle Viloria in the second round.

“He was a real tough guy to fight. He kept his distance and I was never able to get inside like I wanted to. Tough fight, tough guy,” said Viloria, who was trying to win his fifth world title belt in the twilight of a career that began after he represented the United States in the 2000 Olympics.

Dalakian continued to tag the “Hawaiian Punch” with clean punches and dart out of the way. He moved side to side to avoid punches and when he came inside he fired uppercuts, left hands and displayed a snappy jab.

Viloria (38-6, 23 KOs), 37, a Hawaii native fighting out of Los Angeles, finally broke through in the seventh round when he found a home for a sharp right hand to the head that rocked Dalakian with about minute left. But he could muster little else.

In the ninth round, referee Lou Moret took a point from Dalakian for pushing Viloria’s head down though he had also done damage to Viloria with right hands in the round.

An errant elbow from Dalakian midway from the 11th round opened a nasty cut on Viloria’s forehead and left him with blood running down his face for the rest of the round.

Dalakian won the 112-pound title recently vacated by Japan’s Kazuto Ioka, who announced his retirement.

Also on the undercard:

  • Junior lightweight Pedro Duran (16-0-3, 13 KOs), 24, of Paramount, California, and Enrique Tinoco (16-5-4, 12 KOs), 27, of Mexico, battled a majority draw in an action fight. One judge had fan favorite Duran winning 77-75 but that scorecard was overruled as the other two judges each scored the fight 76-76.

  • In a women’s junior flyweight fight, Anahi Torres (17-17-1, 2 KOs), 28, of Mexico, pulled the upset as she outslugged Louisa Hawton (7-1, 3 KOs), 32, of Australia, who was making her United States. They traded back and forth but Torres got the better of the action and was rewarded by the judges, 79-73, 77-75 and 77-75. She won a regional title belt and was nearly in tears as she raised it over her head after it was handed to her.

  • San Diego junior lightweight Mario Ramos (4-0, 4 KOs) blew out Oscar Eduardo Quezada (7-6, 4 KOs), 26, of Mexico, in a first-round knockout victory. He initially hurt Quezada with a left hand that bent him over and forced him touch his glove the mat for a knockdown. Moments later, as Ramos fired away at a near-defenseless Quezada in a corner, referee Rudy Barragan jumped in to stop the fight just as Quezada was falling to the mat at 2 minutes, 19 seconds.

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