Boxing: Donnie Nietes still wants 'dream fight' with Chocolatito
Santino Honasan on Jan 14, 2019 12:50 PM
"Kasi yun dati yung dream fight ko eh, kahit hindi siya champion, gusto ko siya kalabanin," - Donnie Nietes on Roman Gonzales
After making history by becoming just the third Filipino boxer to capture a world championship in four weight divisions, newly-crowned WBO Super Flyweight World Champion Donnie "Ahas" Nietes has cemented his place among the country's boxing elite.
Now that he's etched a place for himself in Filipino boxing history (again), what does the future hold for the man known as "Ahas"?
"Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa alam kung magmo-move up pa ba ako in weight," Nietes told ABS-CBN Sports when asked if he was thinking about possibly making another jump up in weight to chase a fifth weight division world chamionship. "Depende lang sa kundisyon ng katawan ko, sa pag-build up ng katawan ko or kung lalaki pa ba yung muscles ko."
The more likely scenario, at least for now however, is that Nietes finally gets the bouts that he's wanted for years against the divisions's biggest names.
"Siguro sa ngayon gusto ko lang na matuloy yumg mga dream fight ko, like kay Roman Gonzales, Juan Francisco Estrada, atsaka [Srisaket] Sor Rungvisai."
Gonzales, Estrada, and Rungvisai are arguably some of the biggest names in boxing's 115-pound division, and names that Nietes has long had his eyes on, especially Gonzales.
Known by fans "Chocolatito", the Nicaraguan was at one time considered pretty much untouchable, compiling an impressive 46-0 undefeated record that included world championship runs at minimumweight, light flyweight, flyweight, and super flyweight.
It all came crashing down for Chocolatito back in 2017 however, after he ran into a Thai wrecking machine by the name of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
The Thai star handed Chocolatito his first loss, winning via unanimous decision to snatch the WBC title away. Rungvisai would leave no doubts in the rematch as he starched Chocolatito via fourth-round KO in the rematch.
Chocolatito has since bounced back, defeatign Moises Fuentes via decision, but in terms of status, he's far from the pound-for-pound king he used to be.
For Nietes however, it doesn't really matter where Chocolatito is. He still wants to share the ring with the Nicaraguan star.
"Kasi yun dati yung dream fight ko eh, kahit hindi siya champion, gusto ko siya kalabanin," Nietes expressed. "Kumbaga may charisma siya sa mga tao din, maganda yung style niya, so siguro pag umabot kami ng laban, maganda tignan."
As for the man who's had Chocolatito's number, Nietes believes he's just at par with the reigning WBC champion Rungvisai as well.
"Magaling naman si Rungvisai, pero sa tingin ko hindi naman kami magkalayo ng abilidad," said Nietes.
Noticeably absent from the names Nietes mentioned is compatriot and reigning IBF Super Flyweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Now, more than ever, a Nietes versus Ancajas title unification bout would make sense, and it is something that Filipino boxing fans would love to see.
Nietes, however, isn't as keen about that though.
"For me, parang hindi ako mag sang-ayon sa laban na yun kasi kaunti lang yung champion na Pilipino ngayon eh, mas maganda, mag-unify siya sa ibang lahi, mag-unify ako sa ibang lahi, para naman patuloy yung maraming world champion ng mga Pilipino."
Nietes could very well be facing familiar fellow Pinoy super flyweight again soon, with former opponent Aston Palicte on the road back to the WBO title.
Palicte is scheduled for a title eliminator bout against Jose Martinez on January 31st. A win for Palicte would set up a do-over against Nietes.
"Sa ngayon, hindi ko pa alam, kung ang number one ngayon, si Palicte, kung magka-mandatory, baka mag-laban kami ulit," Nietes stated.