Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is nearing peak condition for his title defense against Mexican Gilberto Parra on March 28 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes, 32, who broke Gabriel “Flash” Elorde’s longest reign of seven years and three months as a Filipino world champion last January, said he is now working on refining his boxing techniques through sparring because his challenger is a known slugger and accurate hitter.
I have scheduled a four-round sparring session today and so far I’m nearing 100 percent physically and mentally. I guess I’m already 80 percent,” Nietes (34-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 20 knockouts) told The Manila Times on Thursday in a phone interview.
“Parra is a very aggressive fighter because he won by many knockouts and I can’t relax that’s why I need to focus on the technical aspect. I must not only overpower him but also outsmart him,” added Nietes.
Parra, who has an outstanding record of 19-2 with 17 knockouts, won his last three fights by technical KO before earning a no-contest decision against Maximino Flores on February 14 in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Nietes said he is not going to give Parra any chance. “It’s tough to tell, but I have to finish the fight as fast as I can if there is any opportunity. I have to rely on my counter-punching also.”
In case Nietes beat Parra, it is up to ALA Promotion to decide if he would climb to flyweight class.
“I can fight comfortably in my current weight class and up to the next, so there will be no problem.”
Besides Nietes’ bout, the other main attraction of Pinoy Pride 30: D-Day organized by ABS CBN and ALA Promotion is the comeback fight of former world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire Jr. against Brazilian William Prado.