PASAY CITY -- Moises Fuentes fought Donnie Nietes for 12 rounds and settled to a majority draw last year in Cebu City.
That won’t be the case in their rematch this Saturday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena as the 28-year-old Fuentes vows to beat Nietes in his own turf and bring back the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight title with him to Mexico.
“I came here to win. I don’t know if it will be by knockout or by decision. But I assure you the title will go home with me back to Mexico,” Fuentes said in yesterday’s final press conferece at the Bayview Hotel Manila.
It will be a huge problem for Fuentes, however, because Nietes won’t give up his belt without a fight.
“I won’t let him take my belt. He will have to get it over my dead body,” said the 31-year-old two-division world champion.
A lot is at stake for Nietes in fight, because he is chasing the longtime record set by Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world champion. Aside from that, The Ring Magazine light flyweight belt is also on the line, which means the winner becomes the lineal champion of the 108-pound division.
Nietes is eighth months shy from tying Elorde’s record of seven years and three months.
Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera, Fuentes’ manager, warned Nietes that his ward is better than the fighter that came to Cebu City last year.
“He didn’t train well in his first fight with Donnie. Now he is 100 percent and has worked very hard,” said the famous Mexican boxer who fought Manny Pacquiao twice.
Nietes is 32-1-4 with 18 knockouts, while Fuentes is 19-1-1 with 10 knockouts.
After losing his first shot at becoming a world champion, Milan Melindo is slowly climbing back up to position himself for another world title shot.
But first Melindo (30-1, 12 KOs) has to get past World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 5 light flyweight Martin Tecuapetla (11-5-2, 8 KOs) in the main supporting bout of Pinoy Pride 25.
“This is a stepping stone for another world title fight,” said Melindo, who is defending his WBO International flyweight crown.
Melindo challenged WBO and WBA flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada last year but lost by unanimous decision.
Following a brief retirement from the ring, Rey “Boom-Boom” Bautista (34-3, 25 KOs) makes his comeback against Mexican prospect Sergio Villanueva (26-3-2, 13 KOs).
“I didn’t have problems cutting down in weight. I’m ready to fight and give the fans a great fight,” said Bautista, who hung his gloves for over a year.
The 27-year-old Bautista walked away from boxing after suffering a split decision loss to Jose Ramirez in Davao City.
“His training was very good. It was like when he started his professional boxing career. He is more dedicated and determined on his comeback,” Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu. “It is a very important fight because it is his comeback fight. He should show an impressive performance to negate his last fight.”
The 27-year-old Bautista is up against Mexican prospect Sergio Villanueva in the undercard of Pinoy Pride 25 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“He is more relaxed and doesn’t stiffen up. I hope he doesn’t return to his old style. I hope that he will show everybody what we did in training and show the people a different ‘Boom-Boom’,” said Villamor.
Bautista has been sparring with faster fighters like Mark Bernaldez, Mark Magsayo and Ralph Lulu for his comeback.
The 22-year-old Villanueva shouldn’t be a pushover because he has an impressive record of 26-3-2 with 13 knockouts and also once held the World Boxing Council (WBC) featherweight crown. The downside, however, is that Villanueva is inexperienced and somewhat has a suspect chin. He has just fought once outside his native of Mexico and hasn’t faced world class opponents aside from prospects just like him. In his three losses, two were knockout losses to unbeaten Jose Pedraza and the other against Daniel Hernandez.
Bautista, 34-3 with 25 knockouts, decided to walk away from boxing after a tough split decision loss to Mexican Jose Ramirez last year in Davao City.
Following his retirement, Bautista kept himself busy by becoming boxing trainer for the the Air Force and also at the ALA Fitness Gym.
But with less than a year since hanging his gloves, Bautista decided to give boxing another shot.
This will be a good gauge for everybody, if the banger known as “Boom-Boom” should continue on with his career or stay retired for good.