EXPECT four-division world champion Donnie Nietes to be back in action inside the ring before 2021 ends.
“I’m here always training with coach (Edmund Villamor). I’m not sure about the date but I have a fight before the end of the year. Maybe in November or December in Dubai,” Nietes told SunStar Cebu.
The 39-year-old Nietes is back training under longtime coach and friend Edmund Villamor at the Villamor Brothers Boxing Gym in Mandaue City since the opening of gym’s last September after Cebu shifted back to GCQ status.
Nietes is set to spar with former ALA Gym teammates Jeo Santisima, KJ Cataraja and Esneth Domingo for his upcoming fight.
Nietes won his fourth division world title belt with a split decision over Kazuto Ioka in a vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight title fight in 2018 in Macau.
After winning the belt, Nietes declined a rematch with mandatory challenger Aston Palicte and was forced to relinquish his belt in search of bigger fights. He was looking at a dream match with the stars of the super flyweight division, the likes of Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Juan Francisco Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. However, he never got his dream fight and was sidelined for more than two years.
With the closure of the ALA Gym and ALA Promotions, Nietes became a free agent and was immediately scooped up by MTK Global, a renowned boxing promotional outfit in the world.
Nietes finally saw action on April 3, 2021 beating Pablo Carillo by unanimous decision in a WBO International super flyweight fight in Dubai.
Nietes immediately broke into the world rankings and is in a good position to fight for a world title in three of the four major world boxing sanctioning bodies.
Nietes is rated No. 2 in the WBO, wherein Ioka, a boxer that he once beat is the current titleholder. Ranked up a notch above him is Sor Rungvisai.
He’s ranked No. 4 in the World Boxing Association, in which the belt is currently around the waist of Estrada. Gonzalez is the No. 1 contender, followed by Sirichai Thaiyen at No. 2 and Russian Mikhail Aloyan at No. 3.
On the other hand, Nietes is No. 6 in the World Boxing Council, wherein the title is now vacant. Currently at No. 1 is Sor Rungvisai, followed by Gonzalez at No. 2, Carlos Cuadras at No. 3, Pedro Guevara at No. 4 and Fernando Martinez at No. 5.
Nietes, who’s 43-1-5 with 23 knockouts, possibly has a few good years left in him and could make a strong run for another world title anytime soon.