Longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes will be gunning for his third world title when he fights Thai Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt on April 29 in Cebu City.
Nietes, 35, was happy to get another shot for a world title and said he’s already undergoing training and conditioning since January.
“I’m very happy because I got an opportunity to grab my third world title in a different weight class,” Nietes (39-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) told The Manila Times. “At the same time, I’ll be fighting in front of my fellow Filipinos.”
Nietes, a native of Bacolod City, held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight and light flyweight belts. He vacated his WBO light flyweight belt last year when he decided to climb up to the flyweight rank.
Nietes said his Thai opponent is no pushover despite being beaten by two Filipino fighters in the past.
“He also has two hands and he’s a professional boxer, too. That’s why I have to study his moves seriously but I’m confident I can beat him,” he said.
“I don’t want to be complacent.”
Krungthepthonburi (22-3 win-loss record with 15 knockouts) was knocked out by Prince Albert Pagara in November 15, 2012 at the Maasin City Sports Complex in Southern Leyte and lost by unanimous decision against Froilan Saludar last October 26 at the Makati Coliseum.
Asked about his fighting condition, Nietes said: “I feel good and okay. My goal is to strengthen my punches and becomes faster. We’re also studying some new strategies and we already started our sparring sessions.”
The fight venue in Cebu has not yet been finalized.
Nietes will try to win the IBF flyweight belt after fellow Filipino Johnriel Casimero vacated it.