“There’s a lot left in me.” - Donnie Nietes welcomes new challenges in new weight class
ABS-CBN Sports on Aug 09, 2016 12:07 PM
"I believe I’m done with the 108 division. There’s no one else for me. I want to go after the other world champions out there.” - Donnie Nietes
When Donnie “Ahas” Nietes steps into the ring for Pinoy Pride 38 in September, it will be the first time in quite a while that he won’t be addressed as a champion.
After essentially clearing out the light flyweight division and cementing his place in Filipino boxing history as the longest reigning world champion, Nietes decided that it’s time to move on to bigger things. In fact, Nietes has wanted to move up in weight for quite a while now.
“I was ready to leave the light flyweight division before (fighting) Garcia. I was thinking he would be my last opponent at 108lbs.. The next thing I did was to ask my manager and promoter and I am very glad they granted my request”. Nietes said in an interview from ALA Boxing.
After defending his WBO light flyweight belt for the ninth time against Raul “Rayito” Garcia back in May, Nietes finalized his move up to the flyweight division by vacating the title he held for almost six years. In September, “Ahas” is set to make his flyweight debut against a tough former champion in Edgar Sosa.
“One world champion at a time, but I want to fight more if I can.” Nietes said. “I want to fight bigger names. I am very lucky to have a manager and promoter who believe in what I can do and they have always supported me. But I believe I’m done with the 108 division. There’s no one else for me. I want to go after the other world champions out there.”
After having to cut to 108-pounds for years, Nietes says that training at a higher weightclass didn’t require too much adjustment.
“I feel more comfortable now that I’ve started training in a bigger weight. I mean, even when I was fighting for 108lbs, I was training with bigger fighters. I think this is a much better weight for me. There’s not a lot of adjustment, but there’s more room for improvement. I want to be a better fighter still.”
At 34 years of age, some might question Nietes’ decision to challenge himself more, given that the Murcia native isn’t exactly a young gun anymore.
Still, the two-division world champion still wants to show people there’s still a lot in his future, and that could include a world title in a third weight division.
“I just want the people to know there’s a lot left in me. I feel great with my new weight. As a boxer, I still want to do and accomplish so much.”
Donnie Nietes makes his flyweight debut against former world champion Edgar Sosa at Pinoy Pride 38, Saturday, September 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.