Another Mexican wants ‘Ahas’
Cebu Daily News
The protagonists of this Saturday’s Pinoy Pride 28: History in the Making pose with ALA Promotions International President Michael Aldeguer after the card’s final press conference yesterday at the Ting Gow Restaurant in Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
(CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)
Two division world champion and current WBO light flyweight king Donnie “Ahas” Nietes (33W-1L-4D, 19KOs) will fight Mexican Carlos Velarde (26-3-1, 14KOs) this Saturday yet, but this early, another challenger has emerged and aired his interest in fighting the Filipino champion.
Mexican WBO/IBF minimumweight king Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (16W-2L, 11KOs) said that he will be moving up to the light flyweight division after this Saturday’s fight so that he can challenge Nietes.
He made the revelation during yesterday’s final press conference of the “Pinoy Pride 28: History in the Making” at the Ting Gow Restaurant of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Lahug.
“Whoever wins between them (Velarde and Nietes) on Saturday night, I am very willing to fight anytime,” Rodriguez Jr. told Cebu and Manila-based sports scribes.
Even ALA Promotions International President Michael P. Aldeguer was surprised by the Mexican’s confident challenge to Nietes who is seeking to rewrite Philippine boxing history as the longest reigning world champion.
Rodriguez Jr. will face Jomar Fajardo (14-5-1,7 KOs) of the Aljoe Jaro Stable of Binangonan, Rizal in a 10-round, non-title showdown in the undercard of PP28.
Rodriguez Jr. defeated ALA Boxing Gym’s Merlito Sabillo to snatch the latter’s WBO minimumweight belt last March. He also beat Japanese Katsunari Takayama to grab the latter’s IBF minimumweight title.
Meanwhile, Aldeguer said that he decided to have Nietes defend his belt here and not in Manila because the latter won his first world title in Cebu.
“We want to go back to where it started. It’s a big decision to put the fight here in Cebu and not in Manila. I told them that Nietes won his first world title here in Cebu that’s why it’s special for the both of us.”
Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and challenger Carlos “Chapito” Velarde strike a fighting pose during yesterday’s final presscon for Pinoy Pride 28: History in the Making.
(CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)
Nietes won the WBO minimumweight title in 2007 also at the Waterfront by beating Thai Pornsawan Porpramook via unanimous decision. The Murcia, Bacolod native is hoping to break the record of the late Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who reigned for seven years and three months.
Standing in his way is Velarde who earlier vowed to knock Nietes out on Saturday night.
But history is clearly not on the side of the Mexican. He suffered all his three losses while fighting out of Mexico.
However, Velarde remains confident of his chances saying even the great Manny Pacquiao was knocked out by a Mexican.
“Everything’s possible inside the ring. If he wants to make history, I am also here to make history,” Velarde said.
Nietes for his part had said that he is tired of Mexicans vowing to knock him out yet end up being sent to dream land instead.
“I’m used to Mexicans like him who vow to knock me out. He should prove that inside the ring instead of talking. I am excited about this fight and I promise all my fans that I will defend my title,” declared Nietes.
If Nietes wins this Saturday, ALA International Promotions is planning to put him in the card of its first promotion to be held in the US next year or line him up against world champions Juan Francisco Estrada or Roman Gonzales in the 112lbs division.
Meanwhile, Milan “El Metodico” Melindo (31-1, 12KOs) looked ripped in his debut fight in the lighter 108lbs division against Saul “Baby” Juarez (20-3, 11KOs) for the IBF junior flyweight title eliminator in the co-main event.
Melindo said he is more comfortable in the weight division compared to the regular flyweight (112lbs).
“I can feel that I am faster, stronger in this weight,” he said. “I’ve seen his fight tapes, and I have to say that I need to be very cautious inside the ring.”
Also present yesterday were Raul Hirales (22-3-1, 11KOs) of Mexico who will challenge IBF Inter-Continental junior featherweight king “Prince” Albert Pagara (21-0, 15KOs) in the other co main event.
The official weigh-in will be held today at Robinson’s Fuente at noon.
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