Antonio Nieves prepared for one more run at bantamweight rivalry

After a hiatus of over two and a half years, Antonio Nieves believes he has one other run in him to once more grow to be a contender.

Nieves returned to motion this previous Saturday night time on the Civic Heart in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, dropping Judy Flores (10-1, 6 knockouts) of the Philippines as soon as en path to a unanimous determination victory. 

Scores had been 80-72, 80-72, and 80-71 for Nieves, who improved to 20-3-2, 11 KOs. 

It took Nieves a few spherical or two to shake off the ring rust and to get his timing down. The 35-year-old was capable of work effectively behind a jab and ultimately put Flores on the defensive. Nieves was capable of drop Flores with a left hook to the physique within the sixth spherical, however was not capable of end him off. 

Nieves’ final battle occurred in October 2019, shedding a detailed unanimous determination to Joshua Greer. His most notable battle occurred in September 2017, shedding by knockout after the sixth spherical to then-WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Naoya Inoue.

Regardless of the lengthy layoff, and once more getting acclimated to the ring, Nieves was content material along with his efficiency Saturday night time.

“The layoff affected my timing a bit,” Nieves informed The Ring Monday. “However I felt good in there (getting) the rounds. He was a quick and sport opponent with good pace and expertise. I needed to break him down and get him out of his rhythm. 

“Though I haven’t been as energetic as I’d wish to be, I’ve been constantly within the fitness center. I’m nonetheless younger. I’ve much more good fights in me. I simply want a giant platform now with one other alternative. I will probably be prepared when that point comes.”

Nieves is a full-time banker within the Cleveland space. 

Tim VanNewhouse, who manages Nieves, acknowledged every thing was mentioned with Nieves main as much as the Flores battle, together with the potential for retirement. VanNewhouse believes Nieves might grow to be a legit contender and face one of the best fighters at 115 and 118 kilos.

“As a group, we mentioned quite a bit relating to Antonio’s future,” stated VanNewhouse. “Retirement was mentioned, however Antonio wasn’t prepared. In fact, he actually solely misplaced to Inoue. The Greer battle was questionable and everybody is aware of he was robbed within the (Nikolai) Potapov battle (in March 2017).

“Moreover, at 118 kilos, Antonio is admittedly preventing out of his weight class. He’s actually a junior bantamweight. He campaigns at bantamweight primarily attributable to his area and never many alternatives (exist) in his weight class. So I’ll be positioning him correctly for one more shot at any of the highest 115 or 118-pounders on the planet.”

Coach Joe Delguyd agrees.

“I couldn’t have requested for far more by way of the kind of battle that might knock off two and a half years of ring rust,” stated Delguyd. “Flores didn’t come from the Philippines only for a paycheck. This allowed Antonio to compete over eight rounds, dominate the battle and get his timing again for certain.

“Many individuals during the last two and a half years have talked about preventing Antonio however none of them truly put their title on the dotted line and we all know why. Antonio has the power and (the) ring IQ to compete and defeat any bantamweight on the planet.”

Vic Inexperienced promoted the cardboard. 

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has lined boxing in Southern California and overseas since 2000. Francisco additionally covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He might be reached by e mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing

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