Nietes takes on young foe in non-title fight in Dubai
'I can handle him,' says longest-reigning Filipino boxing champ
CEBU CITY, Philippines— Four-division world boxing champion and longest-reigning Filipino titlist Donnie “Ahas” Nietes will face a much younger foe on April 3, 2021, in his highly anticipated return inside the ring at the Caesar’s Palace in Dubai, UAE.
The 38-year old boxer revealed to CDN Digital that he would be fighting 27-year-old Panamanian Orlando Penalba. Nietes and Penalba will square off in a 10-round non-title bout.
It will be the first time that Nietes will fight after more than a year of inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nietes’ last bout was against Japanese Kazuto Ioka. Nietes successfully clinched the vacant WBO super flyweight title via a split decision on the New Year’s Eve of 2018 in Macao, China.
He told CDN Digital that he has yet to know if his fight against Penalba will be a tune-up match or a title eliminator in the super flyweight division.
Penalba has a relatively young boxing career with a record of 10 victories and two knockouts. Penalba’s record is pale in comparison to Nietes’ 42 victories, one defeat, five draws, and 23 knockouts.
“Dili man kaayo siya fighter,” Nietes described Penalba’s style. “Kaya ra nako siya. Layo ra siya sa akong mga na kontra before.”
(He’s really not a fighter. I can handle him. He’s far compared to my opponents before.)
Their fight will be featured in the undercard of World Boxing Organization (WBO) super featherweight champion Jamel Herring of the United States, who will be defending his title against British former IBF featherweight king Carl Frampton. The fight card is promoted and put up by Nietes’ current promoter, the Dubai-based MTK Global.
Penalba is the current holder of the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Latino super flyweight title. He won it by beating the much-experienced Venezuelan Keiver Fernandez (21-1-1, 12KOs) via a split decision in February last year.
Nietes, a native of Murcia, Negros Occidental, has been training since October after signing with MTK Global last year. Along with the rest of the famed ALA Boxing Gym boxers, he went to separate ways after the iconic boxing gym and promotions formally closed their curtains in August last year after 35 years.
He is currently training with Edmund and Edito Villamor, also his trainers at ALA Boxing Gym. Their training camp is at the Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym in Mandaue City, co-owned by Edmund and Edito Villamor.
His ALA Boxing gym stablemate “Prince” Albert Pagara (31-1-0,23KOs) will also fight in the undercard. His opponent has yet to be announced.
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