Same prize, different path for Nietes, Palicte at SuperFly 3
Santino Honasan on Aug 30, 2018 12:42 PM
(Photo courtesy of Brandon Magpantay)
When Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte share the ring at The Forum in Los Angeles this September 8th for their world title bout at SuperFly 3, they'll be vying for the same prize, but how they got here is quite different.
Nietes and Palicte will be battling for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship.
Easily the more-experienced and the more-popular between the two, Murcia's Nietes is already a household name in Philippine boxing.
The 36-year old Nietes has been in the game since 2003, and has etched his name on the recordbooks as the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion. Following a massively-successful run at light flyweight and a brief-but-impressive stint at flyweight, Nietes finally makes his long-awaited jump to the 115-pound division of boxing, where he will be chasing his fourth world championship.
"Reading-ready na kami, at tsaka excited na lumaban sa 115," Nietes told ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles during the pre-fight open workouts. "Talagang grabe yung pag-hahanda namin, like conditioning and yung training namin ni Nick Curson. Bigay na bigay na lahat ng muscle ko at power ko, so ngayon comfortable na ang katawan ko sa 115."
Nietes made the announcement to move up to the super flyweight division following his successful flyweight title defense last February.
Bago City's Palicte is nine years Nietes' junior, and has significantly less bouts compared to the ALA Boxing star.
What Palicte may have over Nietes however, is the hunger for a world championship.
In 26 professional contests, this will be Palicte's first opportunity at a world championship, and it'll be against one of the best Filipinos to ever set foot inside a boxing ring.
For the 27-year old, it's nothing short of a dream come true.
"Sobrang saya, dati pangarap lang 'to. Palicte said. "First time ko 'to. Pangarap ko lang 'to dati."
To add even more motivation, Palicte promised his daughter a birthday gift in the form of a world championship win.
"Bago ako umalis, naging promise ko na 'yan ang regalo ko sa kanya." Palicte said of winning his first world championship.
Nietes and Palicte will be the second pair of Pinoys to battle for a world championship this year, following in the footsteps of IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan, who shared the ring last May, marking the first time for two Filipinos to fight each other for a world title in 92 years.
"Napaka-gandang laban 'to," said former Pinoy world champion Rodel Mayol, who's helped both Nietes and Palicte during their time at the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles. "Si Donnie, talagang sabik na siya makuh yung four world title in four different weight divisions."
"Habang si Aston, matagal nang hinihintay na makiha yung corona, so talagang todo-bigay sila maging champion." Mayol added.
For Nietes, another run as world champion will only solidify his place as one of Filipino boxing's greats.
For Palicte, his first tast of world championship gold will definitely be the pinnacle of his career so far.
Donnie Nietes battles Aston Palicte for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship at SuperFly 3 on Saturday, September 8th at The Forum in Los Angeles, California.
Catch the telecast on Sunday, September 9th, 6:00 PM on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23!