Thursday July 19, 2018

Nietes starts preparing for tough challenger

THREE-DIVISION world champion Donnie Nietes has revved up his training for the first title defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt against mandatory challenger Carlos Reveco in November.

“His training is going really well so far,” ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor told SunStar Cebu. “He has started sparring for four rounds. He started light training in July and picked up the pace with Edmund (Villamor) in August.”

The 35-year-old Nietes snagged the vacant IBF flyweight title last April 29 with a unanimous decision over tough fighter Thai Komgrich Nantapech at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

Nietes is among the three remaining world champions from the Philippines, with stablemate and current IBF light flyweight king Milan Melindo and IBF super flyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas.

Nietes has been sparring mainly against promising youngsters Raul Yu, 18-year-old Esneth Domingo and Christian Bacolod.

Villamor believes that Reveco is a legitimate challenger for Nietes with his impressive credentials.

Reveco is a two-division WBA champion and he has already fought in Japan and Mexico. “I think they are both equally as powerful,” he said.

The 34-year-old Reveco has beaten the likes of Jean Piero Perez, Ricardo Nuñez, Juan Francisco Centeno and Felix Alvarado. He also fought but lost to the likes of Japanese star Kazuto Ioka and Brahim Asloum.

Reveco earned a shot at Nietes after beating Nantapech by unanimous decision in an IBF title eliminator last Sept. 8 in Argentina.

Nietes is 40-1-4 with 22 knockouts, while Reveco is 39-3 with 19 knockouts.

The Philippines - possibly in Davao City, Manila, Cebu City and Bacolod City - is one of the options of the venue of the event, while the other options are Argentina, US, Japan and China. (EKA)