Nietes targets third world title
By: Edri Aznar, SunStar Cebu
IT’LL be a very memorable fight for Filipino star Donnie Nietes as he guns for his third division world title in the same building where his stardom started.
“It’s a very special moment for me, because after 10 years, I’m back fighting for my third division title right here. It’s a great feeling,” said the soft-spoken Nietes, a two-division world champion and the longest-reigning Filipino world champion.
Nietes faces young Thai prospect Komgrich Nantapech for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt in the main event of Pinoy Pride 40 – “Donnie-Nation” on April 29 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
In 2007, then 25-year-old Nietes captured his first world title, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight crown, with a unanimous decision over Thai Pornsawan Porpramook.
Fast-forward 10 years later, Nietes, now 34, has a chance to add another accolade to his hall-of-fame worthy career.
“Age won’t matter. I’m very well conditioned and I feel younger as I have aged,” said Nietes, who always keeps his body in shape even if it’s off-season.
The 27-year-old Nantapetch or better known as Eaktawan Mor Krungthepthonburi, visited Cebu for the first time in 2012 as a 22-year-old fighter with a 5-0 record. He suffered his first defeat at the hands of Nietes’ teammate Albert Pagara, who knocked him out in two rounds.
Edmund Villamor, Nietes’ trainer, believes that the fighter they saw five years ago isn’t the same fighter that Nietes will be fighting g next month.
“He has improved a lot since his fight with Albert, wherein he was still raw. Now he is very skilled and experienced,” said Edmund.
Since losing to Pagara, Nantapech lost two more fights against Sho Ishida and Froilan Saludar. But after that, he won 15 straight fights and has never lost for four years.
“This won’t be a mismatch. He has improved vastly,” ALA Gym head coach Edito Villamor said.
Originally published on http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/sports/2017/03/12/nietes-targets-third-world-title-530532