Reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight titleholder Donnie “Ahas” Nietes wants to get out of the light flyweight class and move up after dismantling his latest Mexican opponent Raul Garcia last Saturday in Bacolod City.
Nietes, 34, who improved to a 38-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts, battered the 34-year-old Garcia into submission at the end of the fifth round to score a sixth round technical knockout victory and accomplish a successful ninth title defense.
And after that walk in the park performance, the Murcia, Negros Occidental native believes there is no need to fight WBO mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes of Mexico for the third time this year in September in US.
“I already defeated all challengers and the best light flyweight boxers in my weight class. I think staying here [in this weight class]is not worthy anymore and there’s nothing to prove,” Nietes told The Manila Times during a phone interview on Tuesday. “I’ll talk with my promoter [Michael Aldeguer] later about this.”
Nietes engaged to a majority draw three years ago against Fuentes (24-2-1 record with 13 knockouts) in Cebu, but eventually erased all doubts in their rematch by scoring a ninth round technical knockout victory in May 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
At the same time, Nietes said he is willing to surrender or vacant his title in order to climb up in weight. He also said there’s nothing to worry about his health condition since he didn’t sustain any damage during his last bout against Garcia.
“I was hit but I didn’t take any serious injury in that bout. I’m in good condition and my normal weight is around 120 pounds, so I’m confident my skills will stay competitive in the flyweight category. But I will leave everything to my promoter,” he added.
Nietes, one of the three Filipino world boxing champions, said he is ready to challenge Mexican World Boxing Organization and World Boxing Association world flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada (33-2 win-loss record with 24 knockouts) in a title fight this year.
The other two world Filipino titleholders are WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and recently crowned International Boxing Federation (IBF) world flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero.
“I believe I can beat him [Estrada] at flyweight,” he said. “Although I admit the punch in the flyweight class is stronger than the light flyweight, I’m confident I can fight in that category. I’m hoping God will allow me to fight in the flyweight rank.”
Aside from Estrada, unbeaten World Boxing Council (WBC) world flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua (45-0 record with 38 knockouts) is the other pound-for-pound champ in the 112-pound category.
“I also feel uncomfortable now in the 108-pound class [light flyweight],” Nietes added. I’m hoping they will give me the fight I’ve really wanted. I know it is not going to be easy [in flyweight]because of the big names there.”
Known for his great counter-punching and vast technical boxing skills, Nietes is also fast, smart, durable and possess with great stamina that can last.
JOSEF T. RAMOS