Longest Filipino world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes wants the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt vacated by compatriot Johnriel Casimero.
The former World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight and light flyweight champion will be facing IBF No. 4 rated Thai Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi (22-3 win-loss record with 15 knockouts) in March or April next year in a still undetermined place.
“That’s a wonderful opportunity for me. I can fight now in a world title without going for any tune-up bout,” Nietes, 34, told The Manila Times during a phone interview in Christmas Day.
“This is also a big blessing because I really wanted to have a world title fight next year. I’ll be facing a Thai IBF rated fighter maybe in March or April. I’m very excited to prepare. So far, I’m doing some light training routines to keep my body fit especially this holidays. I want to capture my third world title,” he added.
Nietes (39-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) said he doesn’t need to wait for reigning WBO flyweight champion Zou Shiming to fight him.
The 35-year-old 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist is holding a 9-1 win-loss record with two knockouts.
“I don’t need to wait for Zou’s decision if he’ll fight me even though I’m the mandatory challenger of the WBO. But if I get lucky in my IBF bout, I challenge him for a unification bout also next year,” said Nietes.
Casimero (23-3 record with 15 knockouts) vacated recently the IBF flyweight belt, which he won over Thai Amnat Ruenroeng last May 25 in Beijing, China via fourth round technical knockout.
He left the flyweight division to climb up to the super flyweight class to challenge unbeaten Nicaraguan World Boxing Council super flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez (46-0 record with 38 knockouts).