Boxing: Aston Palicte congratulates former foe Donnie Nietes on WBO world title win
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 04, 2019 11:03 AM
"Masaya ako doon, sa totoo lang masaya ako doon, dahil may isang Pinoy na bago matapos yung taon, na nanalo at naging world champion na naman, at pang-apat na ni Donnie ‘yun, kaya kino-congratulate ko si Donnie." (Photo courtesy of Steve Angeles on Twitter: @StevieAngeles)
Back in September of 2018, Aston Palicte was one judge's decision away from becoming a world champion, when he and fellow Filipino Donnie Nietes figured in controversial split draw for the vacant WBO Super Flyweight World Championship.
While many fans and analysts disagree with the decision and believe that Nietes should have been champion, it doesn't change the fact that Palicte stood toe-to-toe with one of the best boxers in Filipino history.
Now, Palicte is beginning his journey back to title contention, and it begins with a WBO Super Flyweight World Championship eliminator bout against undefeated Mexican Jose Martinez on January 31st in San Diego, California.
If he wins, then he likely gets a shot at the newly-crowned WBO Super Flyweight World Champion, Donnie Nietes.
Nietes finally captured the title on New Year's Eve, defeating Japan's Kazuto Ioka via split decision for his fourth world championship in as many weight divisions.
And while they've fought for that very same world championship before, Palicte shared that he's nothing but happy for his fellow Negrense.
"Unang-una masaya ako, nabalitaan ko na, ‘Congratulations, Donnie!’, na nanalo si Donnie. Masaya ako doon, sa totoo lang masaya ako doon, dahil may isang Pinoy na bago matapos yung taon, na nanalo at naging world champion na naman, at pang-apat na ni Donnie ‘yun, kaya kino-congratulate ko si Donnie," Palicte told Steve Angeles of ABS-CBN.
Palicte is one win away from getting a do-over against Nietes for the WBO strap, but the 27-year old native of Bago City says he isn't too focused on a rematch yet.
"Yung sinasabi nila na rematch, hindi ko muna, wala muna sa isip ko yun. Yung nasa isip ko ngayon yung laban ko ngayon, kung ano yung schedule ko, January 31, yan yung nasa isip ko, wala pa sa isip ko yung rematch, hindi ko pa iniisip yun."
For Palicte, the most important fight is the one that's on deck, and that's against Martinez. For now, that's his world championship bout.
"Lahat naman ng laban, sa akin importante, kahit hindi championship or championship eliminator, lahat ng laban inisiip ko na malaking laban para sa akin."
"Kung ano yung naka-schedule sa akin, yun ang fino-focus ko. Lahat world championship ‘yan, kailangan ko manalo diyan kasi world championship yan. Kahit hindi world championship, tinatatak ko sa isip ko na world championship yan," he added.