Champ Nietes ready for ring return

Edri Aznar
·2 min read

FOUR-division world champion Donnie Nietes is all geared up and ready to go for his upcoming ring comeback after a two-year layoff.

Nietes faces Colombian veteran Pablo Carrillo for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) International super flyweight crown in one of the featured fights of D4G Promotions’ “Legacy” show on April 3 at the Rotunda of the Caesars Palace Bluewaters in Dubai, UAE.

“We are ready,” Nietes’ coach Edmund Villamor told SunStar Cebu.

Nietes and Villamor left Cebu for Dubai on March 30.

The 38-year-old Nietes makes his ring return after a long hiatus. He last fought on Dec. 31, 2018, when he beat Kazuto Ioka by split decision for the vacant WBO super flyweight title in Macau.

Despite the long layoff, Nietes worked his way back into shape at the Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym.

He has been sparring with former ALA teammates Jeo Santisima and KJ Cataraja. He also sparred with amateur pugs Reymart Tagacanao and Christian Balunan.

Nietes hopes to face some of the best super flyweights, the likes of Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Ioka and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, before he calls it a career.

“This is a huge and very important fight for Donnie because this is his key to entering the world rankings and fighting for a world title,” said Villamor. “I like a matchup with Gonzalez, Ioka or Estrada.”

Nietes may be already thinking of the future, but his focus is still set on Carrillo.

“We are not taking him lightly because he has fought some big names,” said Villamor.

Carrillo has fought the likes of Francisco Rodriguez Jr., Ioka and Luis Concepcion.

“We have to watch out for his favorite punch, his overhand,” said Villamor.

Carrillo has not fought for more than a year. His last fight was on Aug. 23, 2019, in which he stopped Luis Gonlindano in five rounds.

Nietes is 42-1-5 with 23 knockouts, while Carrillo is 25-7-1 with 16 knockouts.