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Nietes honored to surpass boxing record of Elorde

Nietes honored to surpass boxing record of Elorde

By Henry G. Doble

Sunstar Bacolod

WHILE it is still a month away before the Murcia native and reigning WBO junior flyweight titlist Donnie “Ahas” Nietes will be officially declared as the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion, the Negrense pride said he feels honored to surpass the record of boxing legend Gabriel “Flash” Elorde.

Nietes said that he is grateful to contribute to the history of Philippine boxing.

“Above all what is important is how we serve as role model to the young Filipino kids. It’s not just all about the title – it’s the character,” he said.

Nietes, who has visited Elorde’s widow, Laura, said that the legend’s wife gave him some good words.

“She’s actually happy that I rewrote the Philippine boxing history,” he said.

The champion also shared Ms. Elorde’s message to him: “When my late husband ‘Flash’ Elorde won the world junior lightweight title at the inauguration of the Araneta Coliseum, it was a historic occasion that brought endless joy and pride to our country and people, which is the way ‘Bai’ wanted it to be.”

“He [Elorde] fought not for personal glory but for the glory of the Philippines. During his reign of seven years and three months, he fought the best in his weight division,” she added.

“Like what his dear friend Ronnie Nathanielsz wrote – he feared no man, but was humble before all men. That his opponents became his close friends – from Harold Gomes to Teruo Kosaka, Shigeki Kaneko, and Carlos Ortiz – reflects the recognition they gave him in return for the respect Bai gave the sport and the men he faced in the ring with quiet dignity,” she wrote.

“Bai Elorde was humble in victory, magnanimous in defeat, and displayed these same values and virtues both in and outside the ring,” Ms. Elorde added.

“Donnie [Nietes] in many respects is like Elorde – a simple man from humble beginnings, but a true champion who has, by his success, earned the admiration of our people. To us – the members of the Elorde family –Donnie’s surpassing of Bai’s long-standing record is a tribute to his skill, dedication and hard work.”

“We are indeed proud that “Bai” reigned as a world champion for seven years and three months and are prouder still that a good and decent Filipino champion rose to take his place among the heroes of our time. Good luck Donnie and God bless you,” she added.

For his part, Nietes said: “It is an honor as my record will serve as an inspiration to young Filipinos of this generation onward,” the champion added.

Looking at his future fight in February, Nietes said that his coach told him to immediately return to early training.

“My coach wanted me to start early for the upcoming fight,” he added.

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