On a night when the Philippines was expecting a new WBO Superflyweight world champion, judges scored the anticipated match between Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte a split draw, leaving the belt vacant.
The all-Filipino world title match turned out to be a technical chess match, with the taller 27-year old Palicte used his jab trying to controlling the distance.
Nietes showed off his experience using his counter abilities, and showing that he can have power in the 115-pound division.
Nietes seemed to land the bigger punches throughout the fight and finished strong.
Nietes, his team and pundits believe he had won the fight.
For Palicte, who grew up idolizing Nietes, he’s found a moral victory in being at par with Nietes who came into the fight ranked in the ring’s top 10 pound for pound list.
Both fighters, left the arena greeting each other, with no physical damage.
Both camps are waiting from their managers and promoters to see what’s next, and if a rematch will be ordered.
Filipinos in the undercard also fell short of their goals.
Filipino-Australian fighter Luisa Hawton lost in a bloody split decision against Mexican Brenda Flores, in their WBC Atom-weight belt.
After the fight, Hawton said she felt that she had won, and is now hoping for a rematch.
Cebu’s Bruno Escalante also lost by split decision, to Romanian Alexandru Marin in his bid to capture the WBC silver belt.