PHILIPPINES has only three remaining boxing world champions.

The first is of course pound for pound king and WBO Welterweight Champ Manny Pacquiao; second is Female WBO Super Bantamweight Champ Ana Julaton, who is based in the US; and third is the now four time WBO Minimumweight Champion Donnie Nietes of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

 

Pacquiao, who is an adopted son of Bacolod City because of his closeness to the incumbent mayor, has been welcomed with several motorcades and ceremonies. There is no doubt that Pacman deserves all the attention considering the glory and honor he has brought to our country.

But this writer believes we should just be as proud of the ring accomplishments of our Negrense World Champion Donnie Libo-on Nietes. The guy has even been very vocal about his longtime wish of fighting in front of his fellow Negrenses and has once again announced before the whole world that he wants his next defense fight staged in Bacolod City. 

Setting aside my close friendship with Nietes, Donnie is the most humble and unassuming world champion I have ever met in my whole life as a boxing writer and fan.

He calls every writer or boxing patron as sir. He is so humble that he had no qualms driving his car to pick me up in my office and driving me to my house located outside downtown Bacolod after we visited some common friends.

He never demanded any special attention or VIP treatment in every place or gathering we’ve been to. His champion status never went to his head. His feet remained planted on the ground. 

Donnie is not just another world champion. He has successfully defended his crown four times and he fought thrice not in his hometown but on the turf of his foreign challengers.

Fighting in the enemy's soil is like suicide wherein a mediocre performance will cost you your crown through usual hometown decisions. These risks never daunted Nietes in his three fights in Mexico. This fact for me makes him the real “Pinoy Mexicutioner”.  

In a week time more or less, Donnie will be home in Bacolod. I am keeping my fingers crossed if he will be greeted by an entourage and honored with a program and a motorcade around the city. Such never happened in his previous wins in Mexico against Vargas and after his win in Manila versus Jesus Silvestre.

Donnie has expressed his bad feelings towards some people in the City Government but it was said in an uncomplaining manner. He is never demanding for anything.

But it will inspire any champion to do better if his outstanding feats are honored and recognized most especially in his hometown. Nietes has been a champion since 2007. Other champions are only good for one title defense and are stripped of their title in the next defense. Donnie kept his belt for the last three years and has successfully defended it in Mexico thrice. If this great achievements do not gain our respect and recognition, then we do not deserve calling Donnie Nietes as one of our own. 

On the last note, we shall not wait for politicians to organize the welcome program or motorcade for our Hero. Our group of friends, patrons and boxing fans will put our efforts together to honor and welcome our hometown hero and four time WBO Minimum Champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes in our own little way. Congratulations Donnie! Keep it up Champ!