MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – World junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes has suffered a minor tear in the ligaments of his right hand during his12-round unanimous decision win over Francisco Rodriguez Jr last Saturday in Cebu, an MRI revealed.
Nietes (36-1-4, 21 knockouts) underwent an MRI and check-up with bone and joint specialist Dr. Camilo Arenajo on Tuesday, July 14, but Nietes’ promoter Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions told Rappler that results weren’t immediately available.
Dr. Arenajo confirmed that the injury was “a small tear of the middle finger joint of the knuckle” and not the bone as Nietes had initiailly feared, writes veteran reporter Ronnie Nathanielsz.
The injury won’t require surgery, the doctor says, with the typical recovery period lasting 3-6 weeks. “The treatment is very simple. All he needs is rest. There is no need for medication,” said Dr. Arenajo.
Nietes, 33, remained the Philippines’ lone boxing champion by retaining The Ring magazine and WBO 108 pound titles, but says he hurt his right hand while landing a punch in round 7 or 8.
Nietes asserts that he would’ve knocked his 22-year-old opponent out in the ninth round had his hand been healthy.
The plan for Nietes is to make the eighth defense of his championship this November in his hometown of Bacolod City. Nietes hasn’t fought in Bacolod City since 2011, when he won the title against Ramon Garcia Hirales.
“But we hope everything will be find with his injury,” says Aldeguer.
Afterwards, Nietes intends to campaign in the flyweight division, where highly regarded fighters like RING/WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua and WBA/WBO titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico reign.
Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to The Ring magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.
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