FOR most boxers, just becoming a world champion is a huge accomplishment. But for World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight king Donnie Nietes, being a world titleholder isn’t enough because he wants to leave a legacy as one of the greatest Filipino pugilists.

Since Nietes is only limited to the lower weight classes because of his 5’3” frame, he isn’t aiming for winning the most world titles in different weight divisions like Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao. Instead, he plans on achieving a different but very difficult feat of becoming the longest reigning Filipino champion.

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“I want to be the longest-reigning (Filipino) world champion like Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde,” said Nietes in a press conference at the Maya Restaurant yesterday.

Elorde was a champion for seven years and three months, while Nietes will mark his third year as champion on Sept. 30, surpassing Ben Villaflor at fourth place.

The 28-year-old Nietes also plans to win more world titles in other divisions—the light flyweight and flyweight categories.

Nietes made history last Sunday in Mexico after winning his third world title fight against a Mexican.

Will

Nietes beat Mexican slugger Mario Rodriguez by a lopsided unanimous decision. However, Nietes didn’t win the fight easily as Rodriguez made a last minute surge in the last few rounds after seeing the Filipino champion running out of gas.

“I just kept on thinking that whatever happens, I will never surrender and I will survive the 12 rounds,” said Nietes.

Nietes escaped the last few rounds by bobbing and weaving, forcing Rodriguez to miss his target.

“He (Nietes) had the will to win, to retain his world title.

Dragoncito saw that Donnie was fading, that’s why he suddenly regained strength. I’m proud that Donnie didn’t give up,” said ALA Gym chief trainer Edito Villamor.

Nietes is scheduled to defend his title on Philippine soil, either in Cebu City or Bacolod, possibly against No.2 contender Pigmy Kokietgym.

Nietes has been dubbed as “Mexican Executioner” after his rare feat but ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said he won’t be sending his ward back to Mexico for some time.

“I don’t think so but it depends on the stakes. It was a good career choice to fight in Mexico. He proved a point.”