BRIAN Viloria’s loss could be Donnie Nietes’ gain.
Viloria was set to unify his International Boxing Federation title against undefeated World Boxing Organization light flyweight king Ivan Calderon in April but his loss jeopardized that plan.
And in comes Nietes, who is also a world champion in the 105-pound division.
“We are open about that but it has to be fought in a neutral place. Calderon is a world champion and Donnie is also a world champion in his own right,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview.
The 35-year-old Calderon has fought 18 of his 34 fights in Puerto Rico, including nine world title fights.
“We are willing to move up but Donnie still has a lot of potential fights at 105 pounds. If we get an offer (to fight Calderon), then why not?” he said.
However, the 27-year-old Nietes isn’t eager in chasing a world title fight with Calderon because he wants to establish his name as one of the great fighters in the mini-flyweight division.
“We want him to have a long reign as a champ. He has to rule 105 before moving up to 108,” said Aldeguer.
There are handfuls of tough possible fights for Nietes in the 105-pound category including unification bouts with world champions Oleydong Sithsamerchai (WBC), Roman Gonzalez (WBA) and Raul Garcia (IBF).
“Unification is not our priority. Every champion has his own pride and nobody wants to fight in anybody else’s home town. If the fight will be in a neutral ground, maybe in the US, then that would be good,” said Aldeguer.
Nietes, who is 26-1 with 15 knockouts, is off from a 10th round technical knockout win against Mexican youngster Jesus Sylvestre last Saturday as a co-headliner for the Viloria-Tamara world title fight.
“He was okay but he could have done a bit more follow through. He could have done more combinations in the later rounds but the important thing was it was really a good fight. Sylvestre was a top opponent because he came to win and fight a champion,” said Aldeguer of Nietes’ performance.