Saturday, June 19, 2021

Nietes closer to title shot

Four-division world champion Donnie Nietes breaks into the top 10 of two other major world boxing sanctioning bodies.

After making it into the World Boxing Council (WBC) super flyweight division at No. 6 following his ring return in April, Nietes is now also ranked No. 3 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO) and No. 10 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) after the new ranking updates of the two organizations.

“Yes, we are getting close (at a world title shot),” Nietes’ longtime trainer and friend Edmund Villamor told SunStar Cebu.

Nietes was unranked in all four major world boxing sanctioning bodies after a long layoff for more than two years.

The 38-year-old Nietes had an impressive ring return with a convincing unanimous decision over Pablo Carrillo in Dubai, UAE on April 3, 2021. He didn’t show any signs of ring rust and tagged Carrillo all night long with his sharp and accurate counterpunches.

Nietes’ main target is WBC, WBA Super and The Ring super flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada, but he’ll have to wait in line because the Mexican star is set for a rematch with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. Former WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is also ahead of the line. Same goes with Carlos Cuardas, Pedro Guevara and Fernando Martinez.

“If given the chance, we want the WBC because that’s the fight that Donnie has been dreaming about,” said Villamor. “The problem there is that they (Estrada and Gonzalez) are having a rematch and that Sor Rungvisai is still next.”

Villamor believes the next best thing is to fight for the WBO title, which currently hangs around the waist of Kazuto Ioka, who Nietes beat in 2018.

Currently ahead of Nietes in the WBO rankings are Sor Rungvisai, who’s most likely targeting the WBC belt, and Francisco Rodriguez Jr., a brash young fighter that Nietes defeated in 2015.

Nietes will most likely break into the IBF rankings, wherein the current titleholder is fellow Filipino Jerwin Ancajas, as soon as the organization releases its updated list. (EKA)


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