• Nietes not afraid to face Fuentes for third time

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    Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is not afraid to face Mexican Moises Fuentes for the third time, anytime and anywhere.

    “I’m not afraid to face him (Fuentes). I will fight him at any given time and place if ever my promoter and my manager told me,” said Nietes, who holds a 37-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 21 knockouts, told The Manila Times during a phone interview Sunday. “I’m ready to face Fuentes or any boxer.”

    Nietes, 33, received a direct order from the WBO organization to defend his title against Fuentes who became a mandatory challenger for his belt after winning over Nietes’ former foe and fellow Mexican Francisco Rodriguez via split decision last December 5 in Mexico.

    But the Bacolod City native boxer said he is still waiting for ALA Promotion’s decision headed by its president Michael Aldeguer, who is expected to follow the directive of the WBO if ever Nietes will remain at the light flyweight category.

    “So far, I’m still waiting for the decision of the ALA Promotion. If I won’t fight him (Fuentes), I will go up to the flyweight class,” added the former WBO minimum weight champion. “In terms of my strength and conditions, I’m doing light exercises and running routines to keep my body fit.”

    In their first bout last March 2013 in Cebu, Nietes and Fuentes settled to a draw, but Nietes finally proved himself as the better man by knocking out the 30-year-old Mexican slugger in ninth round in their second meeting at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City last May 2014.

    Fuentes holds a 23-2-1 record with 12 knockouts. After that bout, Nietes defeated Mexican boxers Carlos Velarde, Gilberto Parra, Francisco Rodriguez and Juan Alejo to keep his belt. Nietes is the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion for eight years holding the WBO minimum weight and presently the light flyweight belt.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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