Trainer says Nietes on right track

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Two-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is slowly getting back his speed and power with two months left before his bout against Komgrich Nantapech of Thailand on April 29 for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt in Cebu City.

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Nietes’ long-time trainer Edito Villamor said the longest reigning Filipino world champion has already started his 12-round sparring session on top of his strength and conditioning routines since the start of his training last January.

“He (Nietes) is getting stronger and faster now as a flyweight since his debut against Edgar Sosa last September in the US,” Villamor told The Manila Times. “He’s been in sparring against Arthur Villanueva since last week and we’re happy to see some progress.”

Nietes made a debut in the flyweight class with a unanimous decision win against Sosa last September 24 in Carson, California.

Villamor also quashed the fear that Nietes might peak early.

“I know him for a long time. It only means that we’re going to have a stronger and faster Nietes on April 29,” he explained.

The heavy training and sparring of Nietes might last a week before the fight followed by a week rest, according to the trainer.

Nietes (39-1-4 win-loss-draw record with 22 knockouts) was a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight and WBO light flyweight titleholder. Beating Nantapech (22-3 record with 15 knockouts) means three world titles in three different classes for Nietes.

Nietes might move up to the super flyweight class in the future depending on the result of his bout against the Thai.

The 27-year-old Nantapech is coming off a 15-fight winning streak since December 2013. He won his last two fights by knockout.

But he will face a confident Nietes in front of the latter’s hometown crowd.

“I’m confident Donnie (Nietes) will get his third world title,” Villamor said.

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