Quijano: Destiny awaits Donnie

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By Jingo Quijano

Last Round

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


IT SEEMS ALA promotions has brushed aside the AJ Banal debacle as it is set to present another blockbuster event this March 2 at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

Donnie Nietes who is the reigning WBO light flyweight king will face off against Moises Fuentes, the WBO minimum-weight champion who has vacated the weight division for this challenge.

It’s a first time in our shores that we are going to have a champion vs. champion face-off and this event should be a must-see for boxing fans.

Head honcho Michael Aldeguer explained that ALA promotions is separate from ALA Boxing stable and the loss of one of its flagship fighters does not deter the promotional entity from its mission of showcasing local fighters.

The fact that ALA is open to promoting anyone, regardless of boxing stable affiliation is a testament to its unwavering commitment to the sport.

Now if only the ALA fighters can also complement that commitment with matching success on top of the ring, my fellow SHS-B alum would be grinning from ear to ear.

AHAS. Nietes became ALA boxing’s first world champion when he annexed the vacant WBO minumumweight title in Sept. 2007 by defeating Pornsawan Pornpramook in 12 rounds.

He followed it up with 4 successful defenses with three of those held in Mexico, to date the only Filipino to have done so in enemy territory.

He moved up to light flyweight in 2011 by defeating Ramon Garcia Girales in 12 rounds for the vacant WBO diadem. He has defended that title once by defeating Felipe Salguero via decision in Manila.

Against Fuentes, Nietes will be up against a lanky puncher who prefers to stand and trade.

In his last outing, Fuentes disposed of former world champion Ivan Calderon in 5 rounds.

The once formidable Calderon as we all know, is now shopworn and has never been the same since he suffered back to back stoppage losses to Giovanni Segura.

But still, a name like that on his resume, says a lot about Fuentes who only turned pro in 2007, the same year Nietes became a world champion.

It will be interesting to find out how his no-nonsense take-no- prisoners approach will fare against Nietes’ patient, methodical counterpunching prowess.

OUTLOOK. The local boxing landscape has changed dramatically since Manny’s devastating knockout.

The loss taken as it is, served only as a precursor, since Manny is still active and is bent on avenging it.

But the loss coupled with Manny’s repeated declaration that he is nearing retirement and nagging questions about his health and longevity, has spurred other fighters to try and make their marks on the world stage with more urgency.

This can be done only through marquee match-ups that showcase their skills to a bigger audience.

In Manny’s case he was lucky to have gotten that last minute shot at Lehnoholo Ledwaba where he captured the IBF superbantam-weight champion.

But luck took no part in his seminal demolition of Mexican Marco Antonio Barrera which captivated the boxing world.

His domination of Erik Morales cemented his status as one of the world’s top fighters and his victories over Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Miguel Cotto made him a legend.

In Nietes case, it’s about time he is getting his due against a fellow champ. At age 30, he is still in his prime but needs a dominant eye-catching victory on March 2 to propel interest for bigger fights.

LAST ROUND. It’s on my high school bud, Siegfred Melleza who celebrates his birthday this week. Cheers!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 30, 2013.

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