• ‘Ahas’ sets eyes on China’s Zou

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    Donnie “Ahas” Nietes
    CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Newly crowned International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes wants to challenge other flyweight world champions particularly World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight champ Zou Shiming of China.

    The flyweight rank is considered a tough group but the 34-year-old Nietes (40-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) believes he can take on other world champions and unify titles.

    “I challenge each one of them and I hope my promoter and their respective promoters will agree soon,” Nietes told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Tuesday. “After winning the IBF title, my next goal is to unify the other titles.”

    Nietes wants to fight Zou because the Chinese pug’s belt holds sentimental significance.

    “I was a WBO long-time world champion in minimum weight and light flyweight divisions,” he said.

    “Being a WBO champion again is my dream and I think I have the courage and skills to beat Zou.”

    Besides Zou and Nietes, the other world champions in the flyweight category are World Boxing Council titleholder Juan Hernandez Navarette and World Boxing Association champion Kazuto Ioka of Japan.

    Nietes’ long-time trainer Edito Villamor said the longest reigning Filipino world champion has what it takes to unify world titles, but it still depends on the decision of the management if such fights will materialize.

    “It’s up to the management if they will give Donnie a unification match or a voluntarily title defense. Donnie will return to training two weeks after his victory last Saturday to condition himself and I’m confident he’ll be ready against anybody,” Villamor said.

    “Maybe in September or October he’s going to fight.”

    Nietes beat Thai Komgrich Nantapech last Saturday via unanimous decision in Cebu City, to capture his third world title – the IBF world flyweight belt.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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