After impressive flyweight title defense, Donnie Nietes ready to move up in to super flyweight
“Yun talaga yung pangarap ko, yung maging four-division world champion.”
In the days leading up to his IBF Flyweight World Title defense against Juan Carlos Reveco last February, one of the more prevalent backstories was what Donnie Nietes would be doing next.
Should the champ win impressively, there was a big opportunity for him to move up to the 115-pound super flyweight division and chase the big names that’ he’s always wanted to go against, guys like Juan Francisco Estrada, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and former pound-for-pound great Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzales.
Come fight night at The Forum in Los Angeles, California, on the biggest platform he’s ever been on, Nietes shone bright with a seventh-round stoppage against Reveco, who was a former world champion in his own right as well.
Nietes introduced himself to a bigger audience, and now, he’s ready to go after those big names.
“Talagang gustong-gusto ko na mag-move up, kasi nung last na laban kay Reveco, yung mindset ko talaga, aakyat na ako ng 115 eh.” Nietes said during his congratulatory press conference at the ELJ Building in the ABS-CBN Compound, Quezon City. “Yun talaga yung pangarap ko, yung maging four-division world champion.”
Nietes’ manager and ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer added that it’s a big possibility that the longest-reigning Filipino world champion finally makes the jump to 115-pounds.
“With SuperFly, with HBO and with all the things that are happening, with all the big names out there at 115, I think it’s something that Donnie is looking at. He’s waited for so long,”
A move up to super flyweight would open the doors for Nietes to finally face the likes of Chocolatito and Estrada, a couple of names that he’s been after for a while now.
“In fact, the reason why he moved up to 112 was because Chocolatito was in 112 and Estrada was in 112, and then right when he moved up to 112, they moved up to 115.”
“Now, that’s his dream, he wants to fight the big names out there, Chocolatito, now Rungvisai is in the mix, Estrada’s always been on his radar for the longest time, and that’s something that he’s looking forward to.” Aldeguer added.
While a move to super flyweight entails adding only three pounds to his fighting weight, it’s not as simple as just packing on a few pounds.
“We have to discuss Donnie’s plans, he wants the big fights right now and he wants to go for a fourth division world title, but everyone knows that when you decide to move up in weight, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. They’re bigger, can he carry his punch, his power in different divisions, can he take a punch in that division, so we’re discussing with the team now, we’re discussing with the conditioning coach to see what’s best for Donnie.” Aldeguer said.
“Depende din sa training weight niya,” added ALA Boxing head coach Edito Villamor. “Kung mag-training weight siya ng 125-pounds, pwede pa siya sa 112-pounds [lumaban]. If mag-training siya sa 130-pounds, ayun, pwede siya sa 115-pounds [lumaban], pero titignan namin yung galaw niya yung speed niya, yung power niya, kung andun pa ba sa 130-pounds kung pare-pareha ba o mas may power siya sa 130-pounds during the training weight time.”
The move is something that Nietes and his team will have to ponder on, but from the looks of it, ‘Ahas’ seems to be all in on a fourth world championship.
Should he decide to make the jump, the 35-year old Murcia, Negros native says he’d like to challenge for a world title right away, no need for any tuneup fights.
“Para sa akin, mas maganda na yung world title na talaga, kasi pag mag-tune up pa, parang kakalawangin ka pa, mas better kung world title na talaga.”