Nietes faces an ‘inspired’ Thai foe


Trainer Edito Villamor cautioned the longest Filipino world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes in his upcoming world title fight against the highly motivated Thai Komgrich Nantapech on April 21 for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt in Cebu, City.

Villamor said Nantapech is really inspired by the win of his compatriot and newly-crowned World Boxing Council super flyweight champion Wisaksil Wangek of Thailand, who scored a majority decision upset of Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua last March 18 in New York City.

“Donnie’s Thai opponent becomes more dangerous and more motivated than before,” Villamor told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Wednesday. “The victory of the Thai fighter (Wangek) over Chocolatito (Gonzalez) has inspired a lot of Thai boxers to train hard to achieve the same thing.”

“They are now confident that they can become a world champion and beat pound-for-pound fighters. So, I remind Donnie (Nietes) not to take this Thai lightly,” he added. “If Manny Pacquiao comes home victorious, everybody is inspired and wanted to be like him. It’s also the same in Thailand.”

Villamor added that the 34-year-old Nietes (39-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) is getting better on his training and sparring sessions. “He’s now 80 percent okay and I’m expecting him to get better when the fight night comes,” he said. “He also engaged to 12-round sparring.”

The 27-year-old Nantapech is holding a 22-3 win-loss record with 15 knockouts.

Nietes said he would do everything to win his third world title in three different weight classes in front of the Filipino fans. The Bacolod City native fighter is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight and light flyweight titleholder.

“So far, so good. I feel fine about my current condition and there is no pressure about my weight,” said Nietes, who debuted in the flyweight division last September with a unanimous win over Edgar Sosa of Mexico in California, USA. “I will do my best to bring home honor and pride to our country.”


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