Nietes moves up
DONNIE Nietes takes on a new challenge and plans to add another milestone to his already illustrious career, as he officially moves up to the super flyweight division in search of his fourth division world title.
“Today, I have made my decision to move up to 115 and vacate my IBF (International Boxing Federation) flyweight world title. This is the challenge that I have been waiting for. To go up in weight is never easy, but this is my dream, to become a four-division world champion, and to fight all the big names at super flyweight,” Nietes said in a press conference at St. Mark Hotel, announcing his move to the stacked super flyweight division.
The 35-year-old Neites is now rated No. 1 by the WBO in the super flyweight division. The title is currently vacant after Japanese super star Naoya Inoue relinquished it to move up to the bantamweight class.
“There is still no mandate,” said ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor. “We will follow the WBO’s mandate.” The possible scenarios for Nietes are either he’ll be directly fighting for the vacant crown against the highest available rated fighter or he’ll be fighting for an eliminator.
Rated No. 2 by the WBO is Filipino prospect Aston Palicte.
Former poundfor-pound king Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is ranked No. 3 and McWilliams Arroyo is rated No. 4. But if it were up to Nietes, he’s already decided on who he wants to fight next.
“I really want to fight
Chocolatito. It has always been my dream to fight him,” said Nietes, a former WBO minimumweight, WBO light flyweight and IBF flyweight champion. “I think Chocolatito still has it. It just so happened that his style fit the style of the Thai (Srisaket Sor Rungvisai).”
Nietes introduced himself to the mainstream US audience after an impressive seventh round knockout of two-division world titleholder Juan Carlos Reveco in one of the main featured fights of the blockbuster “Super Fly” show last Feb. 24 at the Forum in Inglewood, California.
Though most would say that Nietes is small for the 115-pound division, his longtime coach Edmund Villamor believes otherwise and thinks that he could beat some of the division’s elite.
“Donnie still fights like a young fighter. He hasn’t changed at all. I truly believe that he’ll be a world champion (at super flyweight),” he said.
Now that he’s officially a super flyweight, Nietes wants all the big fights out there, and that includes World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight champion Rungvisai.
“I really want to fight all the champions at 115. If they challenge me, I will never back down.” (EKA)