Longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes wants to book a fight with World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight champion Zou Shiming of China in 2017.
“I challenge him (Zou) for a world title bout next year, any given time and place,” the Bacolod City native Nietes, 34, told The Manila Times from Cebu City in an exclusive phone interview. “I challenge him to defend his title against me.”
Zou, 35, with a 9-1 win-loss record with two knockouts, took home the vacant WBO flyweight belt last November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, after beating Thai Olympic gold medalist Prasitsak Phaprom via unanimous decision. The fight was one of the undercard bouts of the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas match.
Zou, who was trained by Pacquiao’s coach Freddie Roach, is renowned for his calculating moves.
“I know I can beat him because I already have an idea how to fight him,” Nietes (39-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts), a former minimum and light flyweight world champion. “We sparred before in the US. Although he is competitive fighter, I’m confident I can deal with him.”
“But so far, I don’t have an idea about my next fight, but that will be for a world title. My manager and I will discuss about my next fight in January. I’m the No.1 rated fighter in the flyweight category in WBO that’s why I’m the mandatory challenger against Zou.”
Nietes relinquished his WBO light flyweight belt middle of the year to fight Mexican Edgar Sosa last September 24 in Carson, California. He scored a unanimous decision victory over the 37-year-old Sosa (52-10 record with 30 knockouts).
Nietes has surpassed Gabriel Elorde’s seven years and three months record (1960-1967) as the longest reigning Filipino world champion in 2014.