Nietes pits skills on HBO’s Superfly 2 card
THE Philippines’ longest-reigning boxing world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes returns to the ring after a nearly a one-year break, pitting his skills on HBO Boxing After Dark’s Superfly 2 card this weekend.
Mr. Nietes, 35, will defend his International Boxing Federation flyweight title, which he won last time around, against Argentine challenger Juan Carlos Reveco in the Superfly 2 card at The Forum in Los Angeles, California, on Sunday, Feb. 25 (Manila time).
While the fight is not his first time to show his wares in mainland United States, having headlined some fights for ALA Boxing, it is, however, his debut with HBO, and is expected to introduce him to a wider audience that could well take an already successful professional career to another plane.
Considering what is at stake, Mr. Nietes (40-1-4) and his team said they are viewing the fight with much significance and coming in prepared against Mr. Reveco (39-3-0) to create the biggest splash in the event as possible.
In his last fight in April, Mr. Nietes hacked out a unanimous decision victory over Thai Komgrich Nantapech that allowed him joined the likes of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, Jr. as multi-division Filipino world champions.
This is apart from having the distinction as the longest-reigning Filipino champion, a top dog as a light flyweight for more than a decade, beating the record of seven years previously held by legendary fighter Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.
For local fight analyst Nissi Icasiano, Mr. Nietes’ upcoming foray in the United States is undoubtedly a major one notwithstanding his outstanding track record in the boxing ring.
“If you’re going to look at his curriculum vitae in this sport, it is hard to deny Donnie Nietes’ place in boxing history. Although he is the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion for 10 years and 8 months and counting, he has yet to prove himself or raise his stock on the other side of the planet. Let’s take note that this is only his third fight on United States soil, but I will say that this is the biggest at the moment,” said Mr. Icasiano when asked by BusinessWorld for his thoughts on the Nietes fight.
“Nietes has long craved for that career-defining bout that will showcase him in front of the captious American boxing audience, and this fight against Juan Carlos Reveco will be a step in the right direction,” he added.
Mr. Icasiano said that Murcia, Negros Occidental native Nietes is very deserving of a spot in the Superfly series.
“Nietes will be on a card that is stacked with outstanding talents such as Srisaket Sur Rungvisai, Juan Francisco Estrada and Carlos Cuadras. Aside from that, the event will be broadcast by HBO. Nietes is about to get his own share of the spotlight in the United States,” he said.
Adding, “He has been competing in lower weight classes which has not been given prime- time attention by most television networks in the United States. However, there was a sudden surge of interest in the lower weight divisions after the success of ‘Super Fly’ in September 2017. The 35-year-old pugilist from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental is really in a great position being part of the HBO’s “Super Fly 2” card.”
As for Mr. Nietes’ opponent, Mr. Reveco, the analyst believes he is good challenge to the Filipino champ but may eventually fall to the latter.
“Reveco is a boxer with good hand speed and lateral movement. He is essentially a boxer, one who works behind a left jab-overhand right combination. Although he also has a championship experience as he held the WBA title before, Reveco has never shared a ring with a pugilist of Nietes’ caliber,” he said.
“Reveco is susceptible to the counter right as he tends to get lazy with the left jab as he moves in. With that being said, it is expected for Nietes to notice what I’ve mentioned and exploit it,” Mr. Icasiano added.
Also seeing action on Superfly 2 is Filipino-American Brian “The Hawaiian Punch” Viloria, who will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Association flyweight world championship against Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian. —