Four-division champ Nietes wants more
Cebu City, Philippines – There’s no slowing down Donnie “Ahas” Nietes.
Even if he has achieved his dream of becoming a four-division world champion, the 36-year-old boxer from Murcia, Negros Occidental said he is still aiming for more.
The longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion was crowned World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight champion last December 31, 2018 after scoring a split-decision win over Japan’s Kazuto Ioka at the Wynn Palace Cotai, Macao.
The win put him alongside current Filipino boxing greats Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, Jr. as the only Filipino boxers who have won titles in four weight divisions. Nietes’ other belts were from the mini-flyweight, junior-flyweight, and flyweight divisions.
But Nietes is aiming for more. And he knows who he wants to go after.
“Sa karon mas pun-an ko pa jud siguro. Naa pa ko mga dream fight na gusto against (Roman) Gonzalez, (Juan Francisco) Estrada, and (Suriyan Sor) Rungvisai,” said Nietes upon his arrival in Cebu last Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
(For now I want to add more. I still have dream fights against the likes of Gonzales, Estrada, and Rungvisai.)
Gonzales is the first boxer from Nicaragua to win world titles in four weight classes. Estrada is a Mexican professional boxer and the former WBA and WBO Flyweight champion. Rungvisai is a Thai professional boxer in the super flyweight division. He is the former WBC super flyweight champion.
He said, though, that he does not know yet who will be next for him as that will depend on his manager. But he said that he will be ready anytime his number is called.
Asked for how long he will continue to fight, Nietes said it will all depend on the condition of his body.
But with the way he fought on Monday, it seems Nietes still has a long way to go.
According to Nietes, Ioka was a very good fighter and he was a tough and difficult opponent. He wasn’t expecting Ioka’s body shots to be that strong but it wasn’t something that he couldn’t cope with.
“(Rounds) 1 to 12 jud nga binukbokay namo tan-aw nako nga lamang jud ko niya. Ang akoa lang wala jud nako napatumba ba,” said Nietes.
(In rounds 1 to 12 of exchanging blows, I really believed I had the upperhand. My only regret is that I was not able to knock him down.)
Still, Nietes ws satisfied with his victory.
“Lipay kaayo ko nga nakuha jud nako ang ako pangandoy nga makuha jud nako ang ika upat na division. So dako jud ang ako kalipay karon nga nadayon jud, nga nakab-ot jud ang ako gipangandoy,” he said.
(I am very happy that I achieved what I have been aspiring, that I will be able to get a fourth division [title]. So I am really overjoyed that I made it, that I was able to achieve my goal.)
He laso said he was satisfied with the judges’ decision and that Ala Boxing Gym trainer Edito Villamor could have said it should have been unanimous as he may have seen the fight in a different angle.
But Nietes said he is not blaming the judges, who scored the match 118-110, for Nietes, 116-112 for Ioka and 116-112 for Nietes.
Nietes improved his record to 42-1-5 (win-loss-draw).
Nietes said he is dedicating his win to his family, the whole team (ALA) and to all the Filipinos. /BJO
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