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Ex-janitor Donnie Nietes breaks legend Flash Elorde’s record in 2014

Ex-janitor Donnie Nietes breaks legend Flash Elorde’s record in 2014

By Edri K. Aznar

Sunstar Cebu


TAKE A BOW. 2014 was a phenomenal year for ALA Boxer Donnie Nietes. Dedication, dsicipline and right attitude made him one of the greatest Filipino fighters to ever set foot on a ring. (Sun.Star Cebu file)

GREATNESS isn’t measured by talent alone, but also demands hard work, determination and consistency.

After years and years of following that championship formula, Donnie Nietes has finally reaped what he has sown after another impressive year.

The 32-year-old janitor-turned-world champion surpassed the late great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest-reigning Filipino world champion. He broke Elorde’s 47-year-old record of seven years and three months following title defenses in 2014.

“It’s been a phenomenal career for Donnie. It’s difficult to win a world title, what more holding it for more than seven years. Donnie has come a long way from a janitor to become a legend in Philippine boxing. It’s our pride at ALA Boxing to produce not only a great fighter but an even greater person,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.

Though all eyes were set on Manny Pacquiao all year round, as he put himself back up on the top with an extraordinary year, Nietes has been making his own history locally.

After a draw with Moises Fuentes in 2013, Nietes made a statement in their rematch last May 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, totally outclassing 29-year-old Mexican, who was regarded as one of the best boxers in the lower weight divisions.

Neites out-boxed Fuentes and dropped him three times, knocking him out in the ninth round.

“We are all happy especially Donnie, Sir Mike, Sir ALA and Team ALA Boxing. Donnie gives encouragement to the new generation of ALA boxers and other boxers to follow their dreams of becoming a world champion. Donnie is a good example for the young boxers because of his self-discipline, dedication and attitude that have not changed since he started boxing here. We are proud of Donnie’s achievements,” said ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor.

Nietes’s second title defense of 2014 came in Nov. 15 in the same venue where he won his crown over seven years ago, the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.

Nietes, who had an albino python around his shoulders upon entering the ring, stopped Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde in seven rounds.

“We did not really expect that Donnie will reach this level. It just came unexpectedly. Donnie was small when he started boxing and we never thought that he would achieve what he has achieved today,” said Villamor.

Nietes won his first world title on Sept. 30, 2007. He beat then unbeaten Porsawan Porpramook for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) mini-flyweight belt by unanimous decision.

Nietes successfully defended the WBO mini-flyweight belt four times from 2008 to 2010, wherein three of those defenses were in Mexico against Mexicans.

In 2011, Nietes won his second division world title with a unanimous decision over Ramon Garcia-Hirales in Bacolod City. He defended his WBO light flyweight belt five times.

“It is all because of his dedication, determination, self-discipline, attitude and his prayers and also because of the guidance of a father figure in Sir ALA. Donnie also listens to all the advices that make him a better fighter,” said Villamor.

With his legacy sealed as one of the greatest Filipinos to have ever set foot in a boxing ring, Villamor still sees Nietes’ limitless potential.

“I see him winning more title defenses in the future and also another division title.”

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