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From Nietes camp: Right attitude, discipline ingredients to making a world boxing champion

By: Mars G. Alison January 06,2019 - 01:26 PM

Three-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is flanked by his trainers Edmund Villamor (left) and Edito Villamor. /CDN file photo

Cebu City, Philippines – With the right attitude and proper discipline, an athlete can go a long way.

Take it from Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, a four-division world boxing champion and the Philippines’ longest reigning world boxing champion.

According to ALA Boxing Gym trainer Edito Villamor, Nietes’ attitude and self discipline are what makes him one of the most successful boxers in his generation. 

“Attitude towards training, walay abusar, inig abot niya sa gym gikan vacation, dili siya modako, dili siya motambok, so ang iya jud self discipline, kami mga trainers mag training mag advice mi, maminaw, di molingiw, maminaw jud ug  unsay estorya parte sa conditioning, sa training ug unsay ihatag maminaw, di mubalibad, so mao na si Donnie, nya di abusado sa lawas,” said Villamor.

(Attitude towards training, no abuse, when he arrives at the gym from vacation, he maintains his body, weight, so it is really his self discipline, he listens to our advices during training, he doesn’t just shrug them off, he listens to advices on conditioning, he accepts whatever he is given during training, he does not decline, that is Donnie, and he does not abuse his body.)

In fact, Villamor and coach Edmund Villamor attribute  Nietes’ split decision win over Japan’s Kazuto Ioka last December 31, 2018 to Nietes’ right execution of what they had done during his training in preparation for the fight.

Edmund Villamor said that Nietes’ was able to immediately adjust his boxing in accordance to the changes that Ioka made during the fight. The win netted Nietes the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Super Flyweight crown. 

“Naglisod jud mi sa jab ni Ioka  so gi-usab namo na kinahanglan mo counter jud siya sa iyahang jab para mahunong ang iyang jab kay sa duwa man gud niya kay more on jabbing man siya nya mo counter dayon siya, ang iya jud paborito ni Ioka kaning jab niya ug ang kining upper ug ang hook, so mao na ako gibantayan sa iya nga gi train kay kung mo jab siya, mo counter jud na siya ug upper ug ang hook kung madapat na gani kinahanglan mo upper hook, so mao to nakaguba ni Ioka, mao to naka adjust. So pag upper niya mo counter si Donnie ug upper or hook mao na maigo jud siya nausab ang style ni Ioka, so mao to magdagandagan na lang siya kay pirmi siya jaban ni Donnie maigo man jud siya,” explained Edmund Villamor.

(We really had difficulty with Ioka’s jabs so we had to change that by making sure to counter to stop his jabs. Ioka is more on jabs then he counters, his favorite is his jab then he goes upper then hook. So I noted that during training because if he throws a jab, he follows it with an upper and a hook, so when those land, we had to counter with an upper hook. That is what changed Ioka’s play, so we were able to adjust. So when he throws an upper, Donnie also counters with an upper or hook that is why he was able to hit Ioka and that really changed Ioka’s style. He resorted to running because Donnie keeps connecting with his jabs.)

Nietes said that he also learned a lesson or two from his last fight against Aston Palicte, which ended in a draw. So he made sure to be more aggressive this time around.

“Actually first round pa lang ako na sya gibasa nya tan-aw nako murag kaya pud nako iya kusog nya mao to sige ko sulod ug sulod kay ug dili ko mudala ug duwa murag tan-aw unya sa judge na alkanse ko ba, mao to nga sige ra ko ug sulod sulod niya, so tan-aw nako nga inig jab niya mubalos jud ko ug jab kay ug maka-igo siya moigo sad ko ug jab nya ang bantayan nako sa iya kato iya power punch btaw, mga body shot so mao to na gi studiohan to namo ni coach nga nig body niya blockan ug counter sa upper so kapila nako nabuhat to, maigo jud siya so didto siya na murag ma change ang iyang style, didto siya mausab ug didto na dominar nako siya, malabaw ako puntos ba malabaw jud sa iya,” narrated Nietes.

(I already studied him during the first round and I saw that I can cope with him so I kept going in because if I do not dominate the fight the judges might think I’m at a disadvantage, so I kept going in, when he jabs I also counter with a jab, so if he hits me with a jab, I also hit him with a jab. I also noted his power punch, the body shots, we studied that so when he goes to the body, we blocked by countering with an upper and I did that several times, and it really changed his style and I was able to dominate, so I was really getting more points.)

The Villamors also credited strength and conditioning coach American Nick Curson for making the 36-year-old Nietes stay in perfect shape that allowed the boxer from Murcia, Negros Occidental last a full 12 rounds of boxing. 

Nietes said he is overjoyed with what he has achieved.

“Siempre lipay kaayo ko nga nakahimo sad ko ug akoang record, nailhan sad ko as Donnie Nietes nga nakahimo ug fourth division, lahi pud ang ilang Manny Pacquiao ug Nonito Donaire, so dako jud ako kalipay nga na belong bitaw ko sa group sa Pilipinas nga nakahimo ug record,” quipped Nietes.

(Of course I am very happy to have made a record of my own, that people also know me as Donnie Nietes, a four division world champion, different from that of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire, so I am overjoyed that I belong to a group who have made a record for the Philippines).

Focus on super flyweight 

Meanwhile, Nietes said he has no desire to go up another weight class but is not counting out the possibility.

“Focus lang sa ko sa super flyweight kay ug musaka pa ko tan-aw nako murag gamay ko, depende lang sa akong lawas, ug mudako pa diay ko, ug kaya pa ang bantam why not,” said Nietes.

(I will focus for now on the super flyweight because if I go up, I think I’m small, but depending on my body, I might become bigger, if I can do Bantam, why not.)

Aside from the super flyweight title, Nietes’ other belts were from the mini flyweight, junior flyweight, and flyweight divisions. /bjo

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TAGS: ALA Boxing Gym, camp, discipline, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, Donnie Nietes, four-division, Nietes

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