News that Donnie “Ahas” Nietes will be climbing to flyweight and taking on World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) titlist Juan Francisco Estrada next year is definitely good news.
I am not saying Nietes-Estrada will serve as a tune-up fight for the Filipino, who has dominated the minimum and light flyweight divisions, before taking on Pound-for-Pound king Roman Gonzalez. But that could be a good idea.
The reason why Nietes taking on Estrada should be good news is the Mexican has made a reputation for being the scourge of Filipino pugs. So far he has beaten Ardin Diale by knockout in June 2012; Brian Viloria by split decision in April 2013; Milan Melindo by unanimous decision in July 2013; Richie Mepranum by stoppage in April 2014; Joebert Alvarez by unanimous decision in June 2014; and Rommel Asenjo by stoppage in March 2015.
Melindo and Viloria were definitely no pushovers and gave Estrada a real challenge in the ring.
After taking the WBO and WBO flyweight title from Viloria, Estrada has made six successful defenses, four of them at the expense of Filipino boxers.
Now, the big question is – what are the chances of Nietes beating Estrada and grabbing the WBO and WBA flyweight belts from the Mexican?
Nietes is 34 years old while Estrada is 26. When it comes to height, both stand at 5’4” while Nietes gives up half an inch in reach with his 65.5-inch wingspan compared to Estrada’s 66 inches.
Estrada’s record is 33-2 with 24 knockouts while Nietes’ is 38-1 with 22 KOs.
At this point, even with Estrada having an edge in youth and knockout percentage over Nietes, it is still very hard to say who will win.
But for Nietes, a win for Estrada is a must if he wants to square off with Gonzalez who is still undefeated at 45-0 with 38 KOs.
Estrada and Gonzalez squared off in November 2011 with the Mexican giving the Nicaraguan one of his hardest fights. Calls for a rematch between the two ensued because Gonzalez also wanted to beat Estrada more convincingly the second time around. The calls for a rematch between Estrada and Gonzalez have not died down, especially now that the Nicaraguan is the top dog in the game.
But now that Nietes is invading the flyweight division and with an impressive run at minimum and light flyweight, expect Gonzalez to take notice of the Filipino, especially if Nietes gets to beat Estrada.
While Estrada has beaten six Filipino fighters, Nietes has beaten at least 14 Mexicans with Raul Garcia being his latest victim. Nietes’ lone loss was to Angky Angkota of Indonesia in September 2004. Notably, Nonito Donaire has beaten at least 15 Mexican fighters.
Nietes beating 14 Mexican fighters has not earned him the “Mexicutioner” label that Manny Pacquiao earned after he beat Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera. But the fact that Nietes beat a big number of Mexican fighters might not be lost with Estrada, or somebody will tell him about that soon if he does not know about it.
And should Estrada and Nietes square off, the fact that both fighters beat a lot of their prospective opponent’s compatriots can definitely heat up the bout.
So Nietes vs Estrada can be billed as “Philippines vs Mexico.” Am I giving the promoters an idea?