Mendoza: My fearless forecast is ‘Ahas’ by KO

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, May 9, 2014


THEY fought to a draw in March last year. In their rematch today, both have vowed they’d go all out for a knockout.

Donnie Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental, battles Mexico’s Moises Fuentes anew in defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight crown through Tony Aldeguer’s ALA Promotion and Zanfer Promotion in Pinoy Pride 25.

Not only is Nietes’s crown at stake but also history as the “Ahas” of Philippine boxing aims to erase the record of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world champion.

Nietes has not lost since winning the title in 2004 and is 31-1-1, with 18 knockouts.

He now wants that 2013 draw against Fuentes in Cebu turned into a knockout win tonight at Pasay’s Mall of Arena.

I guess he can do it.

Nietes is fresh from a third-round knockout of Sammy Guitierrez, the former Mexican world champion, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in November.

He has not relaxed in his training regimen, vowing to stop Fuentes to obliterate the stigma of that draw that had Marco Antonio Barrera, Fuentes’s manager, saying, “We wuz robbed.”

Barrera was knocked out in 20O3 by Manny Pacquiao and lost by unanimous decision to PacMan in their rematch. Marco Antonio’s brother Jorge is Fuentes’s trainer.

Said Fuentes during the Philippine Sportswriters Association forum at the Shakey’s in Malate, Manila: “I prepared hard for this. I’m going to do everything to win because I want to be the best in the planet. It’s going to be a war.”

He backs up his boast with four months of rigid training and 128 rounds of intense sparring.

Said Jorge Barrera of Fuentes in the same PSA Forum: “He knows that he has what it takes to beat Nietes. He is well-prepared this time and he will go for no less than a knockout.”

Fuentes is relatively young with his 19-1-1, win-loss-draw record. But by plucking out a draw against Nietes, it made him a deserving challenger once more.

Besides, Fuentes scored three straight victories after drawing with Nietes. One of those wins was a seventh-round knockout of Omar Salado in Mexico City.

Still, I pick Nietes. I like his moniker: Ahassssss…

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 10, 2014.

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