Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is ready to defend his title against Mexican challenger Francisco Rodriguez on Saturday at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
“Donnie’s condition is now superb, perfect although we are not going to take this fight lightly,” ALA boxing trainer and coach Edito Villamor told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “Our sparring session is already done and we’re now just moving to conditioning.”
“He [Nietes] is faster, stronger and wiser than his previous bouts, but it doesn’t mean that we are counting Rodriguez out. We know that he prepared very well in this fight because he is very determined to be a world champion too.”
Known for his superb counter-punching skills and technical fighting, the 33-year-old Nietes (35-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 21 knockouts) scored his fourth consecutive knockout win when he floored Mexican Gilberto Parra in the ninth round of their March 28 fight at the Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes, a native of Bacolod City, considers the ALA gym in Cebu City as his second home after his knockout win against Parra. “He doesn’t have any extra-curricular activities except the media day, his business and his family. Donnie spends most of his time in the gym,” said Villamor.
Rodriguez is expected to arrive in Cebu City on Wednesday. The 21-year-old Mexican dethroned former Filipino WBO minimum weight titleholder Merlito Sabillo on March 22, 2014 in Mexico City via 10th round technical knockout.