Nietes waiting for right offer

MANY have been wondering where four-division world champion Donnie Nietes is right now? When is his next fight? Or has he already decided to call it a career?

It has been close to a year since Nietes’s last fight. It was on Dec. 31, 2018, in a New Year boxing show in Macau. Nietes captured his fourth division world title with a split decision over Japanese Kazuto Ioka in a World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight title fight at the Wynn Palace Cotai.

After that win, Nietes decided to relinquish his title in favor of more lucrative fights instead of a mandated rematch with countryman Aston Palicte.

ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor assured fans that Nietes isn’t retired and that he’s waiting for the right moment, the right offer and the right opponent to make his ring return.

“The champions in his divsion are also inactive except Ioka, who will be fighting on Dec. 31 vs. (Jeyvier) Cintron. The others don’t have schedules especially former world champions (Srisaket) Sor Rungvisai and ‘Chocolatito’ (Roman Gonzalez),” Villamor told SunStar Cebu.

Nietes won’t be taking fights that don’t matter. At 37 years old, which is already old for boxing, he wants to fight the super fights in his last few years in the sport.

“We really don’t know who’ll give us an offer. He still says that he wants the top fighters at 115, the likes of ‘Chocolatito’, (Juan Francisco) Estrada, Sor Rungvisai and (Khalid) Yafai,” said Villamor.

Sor Rungvisai last saw action on April 26, 2019 in a unanimous decision defeat to Estrada in a rematch. The World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight champion Estrada, on the other hand, had one more fight after Rungvisai, a ninth round stoppage over Dewayne Beamon on Aug. 24, 2019.

Gonzalez is on a longer layoff and hasn’t fought since losing to Rungvisai via a fourth round knockout on Sept. 9, 2017.

The World Boxing Association (WBA) super flyweight titleholder Yafai, in the meantime, last saw action on June 29, 2019 with a unanimous decision over Norbelto Jimenez.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, who isn’t on Nietes’ wishlist, is also on a sixth-month layoff after his title defense with Jonathan Javier Rodriguez last Nov. 2, 2019 was cancelled.

Villamor is unsure on where and when Nietes will return. He also didn’t rule out a ring return before the year ends.

“Donnie is always in shape. It depends on the things to come. It depends on an offer.” (EKA)