JUST last week, reigning IBF flyweight champion Donnie Nietes held a press conference and bade Cebu sports media goodbye as he left for the US early to prepare for his September clash with Aston Palicte.

I spent a few minutes with Donnie watching video of one of Palicte’s fights. The country’s longest reigning world champion gave some of his insights and comments, most of which I am not at liberty to divulge here unfortunately- lest I unwittingly give up his gameplan for the fight.

MAYOL. Former WBC light flyweight champion Rodel Mayol has reportedly predictes that his ward Palicte will knock out Nietes.

I’ve interviewed Rodel before and introduced myself as a fellow Mayol , making him probably a distant relative on my mother’s side.

And as much as I’m quite fond of my Mayol cousins, Rodel and I will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Having sparred with Donnie on several ocassions, Mayol knows whereof he speaks, but the thing with Donnie is that the present iteration certainly isn’t the same fighter that Mayol was acquainted with.

STYLE. As always, the styles-makes-fights adage will hold true in this matchup. Palicte is a primarily boxer and will hold height and reach advantages over Nietes.

He’s also younger by nine years and of course, more athletic.

Nietes will bank on his world championship experience and ring smarts and some pretty good intangibles.

Nietes has evolved into a near flawless fighting machine throughout the years. He certainly didn’t start out as good as he is presently- as like fine wine, he has become better with age.

A late bloomer, Donnie certainly is.

Like a sponge, “Ahas” has soaked up every precious bit of fighting knowledge from every single fight, and has meshed these nuggets of wisdom into his unique fighting style.

Palicte has never faced someone as accomplished as Donnie. The fight will probably be close for the first half of the fight but I anticipate Ahas to take over in the middle rounds, and dominate the last half.

The key here for Palicte is activity. He should be busy enough with his hands to keep Donnie occupied.

To beat Donnie he would have to fight a near perfect fight.

VERBATIM. “They both haven’t got a brain cell between them so it shouldn’t be too hard for a great boxer like myself.”—Tyson Fury on Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder (www.boxingnews24.com)

LAST ROUND. It’s on Fiscal Benjo Luther Macion who recently celebrated his birthday. Cheers!