FILIPINO veteran Donnie Nietes won a world title in a fourth weight category on New Year’s Eve in Macau, China. However, he was the beneficiary of a contentious split decision, with many observers believing that his Japanese opponent, Kazuto Ioka, deserved to be awarded the verdict.
Ioka was also attempting to become a world champion at a fourth different weight, but it was Nietes who secured the vacant WBO super-flyweight title via scores of 118-110 and 116-112, overriding a 116-112 card in favour of Ioka.
Now-former two-weight world ruler Hekkie Budler surrendered the WBA light-flyweight belt in the chief support. The South African was pulled out by his corner ahead of the 11th round against Japan’s unbeaten Hiroto Kyoguchi, who himself is now a double-division world titlist. All three judges had Kyoguchi ahead at the time of the finish.