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Nietes up against 2 top choices

Nietes up against 2 top choices

By: Edri K. Aznar

Sunstar Cebu

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

TWO world-rated Mexican fighters are frontrunners as World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight Donnie Nietes’s next challenger.

Carlos Velarde and Saul Juarez are the names that ALA Promotions has picked from a list of names given by Zanfer Promotions.

“It’s true, but nothing is final yet. We are working with Zanfer on this,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.

The 32-year-old Nietes will defend his title once more this year in Pinoy Pride 28 – “History in the Making” on Nov. 15 in the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.

The 23-year-old Velarde is a one-time world title challenger from Sinaloa. He has a record of 26-3-1 with 14 knockouts. He fought Japanese Rio Miyazaki for the World Boxing Association (WBA) mini-flyweight title, but lost by a fifth-round technical knockout. He is currently rated 10th in the WBO as a light flyweight, ranked sixth in the World Boxing Council (WBC) and 11th in the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a mini-flyweight. He is also rated 10th in The Ring Magazine mini-flyweight rankings.

Juarez’s record

Juarez is also 23 years old. He has a 23-3 slate with 11 knockouts. He owns a win over current WBC mini-flyweight champion Oswaldo Novoa. He is rated No. 11 by both the WBO and the WBC, No. 8 by the IBF and No. 4 by the WBA in the light flyweight division.

This fight is very important for Nietes’s legacy because a win would make him the longest reigning Filipino world champion when he sits out the rest of the year. The late legendary Gabriel “Flash” Elorde is the longest-reigning Filipino world titleholder with a seven-year-and-three-month reign.

“They are world-rated and should give Donnie a tough fight. It would be his last fight at 108,” said Aldeguer.

After this fight, Nietes plans on moving up and hopefully get a crack at the best in the 112 division WBO and WBA flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada.

But if he isn’t given a world title shot at flyweight, then he will still continue to hold on to his 108-pound crown.

“It depends on how he would progress. Maybe a tune-up non-title fight at 112 then a crack at a world title. We would not want Donnie to vacate it unless he is guaranteed to fight for the world title at 112,” said Aldeguer.

Pinoy Pride 28–“History in the Making” promises to be one of the biggest boxing events in Cebu and the card is stacked with some of the best names from the ALA Gym—former world title contenders Milan Melindo and AJ Banal, unbeaten prospect Albert Pagara and veteran Jimrex Jaca.

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