Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes gears up for April 3 Dubai fight
CEBU CITY, Philippines— If there’s a person who can tell if four-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes still has gas left in his tank, it is his trusted trainer, Edmund Villamor.
Villamor and Nietes are currently gearing up for the latter’s much-awaited return inside the ring on April 3, 2021, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
For Villamor, he did not notice his prized ward slowing down even at the age of 38.
“Sa iyang pangidaron karon ug sa una same ra nga Donnie akong nakita sa iya skills — abtik gihapon —unya naa gihapon ang skills kay grabi man gihapon mo training,” Villamor told CDN Digital.
(In his age now as compared to before, it is still the same Donnie where I still see his skills — he is still fast — and his skills are still there because he trains so hard.)
Villamor has been Nietes’ trainer and cornerman since his early days in boxing in ALA Boxing Gym. Nietes is now fighting under MTK Global promotions’ fold after ALA Boxing Gym and ALA Promotions closed in 2020.
Nietes, who is also the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion, is currently training at the Villamor Brothers boxing gym in Mandaue City.
He is scheduled to fight unbeaten 27-year-old Panamanian Orlando Penalba for 10-rounds in a non-title super flyweight bout.
It will be the first time for Nietes to step inside the ring since New Year’s Eve of 2018 where he clinched the WBO world super flyweight title against Japanese Kazuto Ioka in Macao, China. He won via a split decision.
Nietes and Penalba’s bout is featured in the undercard of the world title showdown between Jamel Herring of the United States and British Carl Frampton at Caesar’s Palace in Dubai.
Nietes, one of Philippine boxing’s legends, holds 42 wins, one defeat, five draws, and 23 knockouts. Penalba, meanwhile, is yet to taste defeat with 10 wins and 2 knockouts.
Villamor said that he was focusing on Nietes’ strength and conditioning training since they were re-developing the latter’s signature speed and power.
“Ang strength and conditioning training parang Donnie (Nietes) para na sa iyang upper body para gaan ra siya. Dili siya bug-at unya mapun-an pud iyang speed,” Villamor said.
(The strength and conditioning training is for the upper body of Donnie [Nietes] so that he will be lighter. He will not be heavier and his speed will increase.)
“Sa una og karon way kalahian iyang skills kay mao ra gyud ghapon si Donnie. Kung mo train kung naa nay schedule walay absent. Murag edad ra ang na lahi ni Donnie,” Villamor said.
(Donnie’s skills are still the same as before. When he trains, if there is a schedule he will not be absent. I think the only difference of Donnie today is his age.)
Villamor is also very confident that Nietes will emerge victorious against Penalba based on what he sees on his ward’s current training performance.
“Yes, confident ko nga modaog si Donnie ani nga duwa kay mao ra man gihapon iyahang gipakita sa training sa una ug karon. Wala nawala ang iyang gipaspason ug power, naa gihapon,” said Villamor.
(Yes, I am confident that Donnie will win this fight because what he showed me in training was the same as what he did before. The speed and power are still there.)
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