Nietes retains WBO junior-flyweight title

CEBU, Philippines (AP) — Filipino fighter Donnie Nietes has retained the WBO junior-flyweight title for a fifth time after beating Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde by technical knockout in the eighth round.

Nietes slowly built a lead with a hometown crowd cheering him on.

The fight changed after an accidental head-butt at the end of the seventh round opened a cut above Velarde’s left eyebrow.

His corner couldn’t repair it, and conceded the fight late Saturday at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in the central city of Cebu.

Nietes, who won the belt in 2011, improved to 34-1 with 20 knockouts. Velarde slumped to 26-4 with 14 KOs.