Nietes to stick to game plan despite change in opponent
CEBU CITY, Philippines— There may be a change in opponent but four-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes doesn’t have any plans of changing his game plan.
The longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion will now be facing a more experienced boxer in Norbelto Jimenez of the Dominican Republic in his much-anticipated comeback fight on April 3, 2021, in Dubai, UAE.
Nietes was supposed to fight 27-year old unbeaten Panamanian prospect Orlando Penalba to break his two-year hiatus and make his debut under a new promoter, the MTK Global Promotions in Dubai, UAE.
But Nietes told CDN Digital that his MTK Global Promotions manager decided to replace Penalba(10w, 2KOs, 0L, 0D) with Jimenez.
The 30-year old Jimenez is a much more experienced boxer between the two since he had a chance of fighting for the world title twice in his career. He fought for the World Boxing Association (WBA) world super flyweight title but faltered in both attempts.
He has a record of 30-9-5 (win-loss-draw) with 16 knockout wins.
In his first shot for a world title in Japan in 2014, he fought Japanese Kohei Kono, which ended up in a draw. Jimenez’s second shot for a world title also came up short after losing to British Khalid Yafai via unanimous decision for the same title. Their bout was held in Providence, USA.
The 36-year old Nietes said there will be no problem with the sudden change of opponent since Jimenez was, in fact, the original opponent his promoters signed to fight him. He was actually replaced by Penalba.
According to Nietes, his promoters were forced to sign back Jimenez after Penalba and his team backed out due to Panama’s very strict travel policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My training won’t be affected since it was really Jimenez I was preparing for before he was replaced by Penalba,” Nietes said.
“Whoever I’ going to fight, I’m ready.”
Nietes last fought on New Year’s Eve in 2018, where he became a four-division world champion by beating Japanese Kazuto Ioka via split decision in Macao, China.
Nietes, a former stalwart of the disbanded ALA Boxing Gym, holds record of 42-1-5 (win-loss-draw) with 23 knockout victories. He is currently training with Edmund and Edito Villamor at the latter’s boxing gym in Mandaue City.
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