REIGNING World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes of the Philippines will rely on his counter-punching prowess and sleek body movements when he defends his title against Mexican Carlos Velarde on November 15 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
Nietes, 32, is also aiming to shatter the record of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest reigning world champion in Philippine boxing history. Elorde held the world junior lightweight title from 1960 to 1967.
“When I adjusted my style of fighting after that draw against [Moses] Fuentes, it gave me a strong edge on how to counter my opponent who has a long reach. I hit them hard with various combinations and knocked them out,” Nietes told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday.
“My head and body movements are not only crucial in this fight but also to my other upcoming fights when I decide to climb up to flyweight class,” added Nietes (33-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 19 knockouts).
“My endurance is okay so far.”
Velarde, 24, who holds 26-3-1 win-loss-draw record with 14 knockouts, is fresh from three impressive victories and was eventually rated No. 10 in WBO and No. 6 in World Boxing Council light flyweight rankings.
Nietes said that he would not take the Mexican lightly.
“It’s not my attitude to underestimate any opponent,” he said.
In the undercard bouts, former WBO minimum weight titleholder Merlito Sabillo (23-1 record with 12 knockouts) battles Indonesian pug Faris Nenggo while bantamweight AJ Banal fights Thailand’s Maxsaisai Sithsaithong.