No pressure for Donnie Nietes as he makes his super flyweight debut
Santino Honasan on Sep 08, 2018 10:02 AM
"Lahat ng nasa super flyweight, gusto ko kalabanin. Hindi naman ako medyo maliit kumpara sa kanila, talagang makakatapat ako sa kanila sa timbang." (Photo courtesy of Brandon Magpantay)
With 46 professional bouts and three world championship runs across as many weight divisions, ALA Promotions star Donnie Nietes is certainly no stranger to the bright lights.
On Saturday evening (Sunday morning, Manila time), Nietes steps back on the big stage as he looks to add a fourth world championship when he makes his highly-anticipated super flyweight debut against compatriot Aston Palicte on the SuperFly 3 card at The Forum in Los Angeles, California.
Nietes and Palicte will fight for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship.
While he's the smaller man in terms of height and reach, Nietes comes in as the bigger star among the two Negrense protagonists.
As mentioned earlier, Nietes has been here before, challenging for a world championship. For his opponent on the other hand, this is the closest that Palicte has been to a world championship.
"For me, wala naman nang pressure." Nietes shared with ABS-CBN's Steve Angeles. "Iniisip ko lang na parang normal na laban para hindi tayo ma-out of focus sa gameplan natin."
After years of dominating in the light flyweight division, where he eclipsed Filipino boxing great Gabriel "Flash" Elorde as the longest-reigning Filipino boxing world champion, Nietes made the jump to the flyweight division. While his run at the 112-pound division lasted for all of just three bouts, it saw him capture and defend the IBF world title.
Now set to embark on his super flyweight journey, Nietes says he's comfortable and confident in his new weight division.
"Yes, for now masasabi ko na nadagdagan ko yung power ko kasi umakyat ako ng timbang. yung katawan ko kumportable talaga sa 115-pounds."
Not to overlook the task that's in front of him, but Nietes knows that Palicte is just the beginning for him.
The 36-year old Murcia, Negros native is finally in a spot where he can go after all those 'big names' that he's wanted to face for so long.
Names like Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzales, like Juan Francisco Estrada, like Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, and even fellow Pinoy Jerwin Ancajas.
Simply put, Nietes wants all of them.
"Lahat ng nasa super flyweight, gusto ko kalabanin. Hindi naman ako medyo maliit kumpara sa kanila, talagang makakatapat ako sa kanila sa timbang."
"Talagang pinag-hahandaan namin ang super flyweight." he added.