Donnie Nietes' return to the boxing ring after 27 months ended with a unanimous-decision win over Pablo Carrillo on Sunday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the vacant WBO international super flyweight title.
The three judges awarded the 10-round fight to Nietes by 99-91, 98-92 and 96-95 scores.
Per CompuBox (h/t Jake Donovan of Boxing Scene), Nietes landed 97 of 425 punches (23 percent), and Carrillo connected on 81 of 415 total punches (19 percent).
Scott Christ of Bad Left Hook gave his take in a recap of the fight:
"The 38-year-old Nietes seemed to warm to the fight in the latter stages, looking sharp and sound still in the final four rounds, while Colombia’s Carrillo (25-8-1, 16 KO) never found quite enough success, though he did have some, landing solid shots here and there."
The fight served as the lead-in for the WBO junior lightweight title matchup between champion Jamel Herring and challenger Carl Frampton.
Nietes, a four-weight world champion, is now 43-1 with five draws. He has gone undefeated in his last 36 matches, with his lone professional defeat occurring in September 2004.
He's also seventh on BoxRec's super flyweight rankings.
As for what's next, Nietes told Ryan Songalia of Ring Magazine before the fight that he has his sights set on super flyweights Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez and Wisaksil Wangek, who are currently No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 in BoxRec's division rankings.
Carrillo fell to 25-8-1. He had won nine of his last 12 fights leading into the Nietes match.