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3-division champ Nietes wants title in another division


Count them. Donnie Nietes shows the six belts he has won in his 10-year reign as a world champion in three divisions. (SunStar Foto/Edri K. Aznar)

ON his 10th year as a world champion, Donnie Nietes’ legacy in boxing seems to be all set.

But despite being the longest-reigning Filipino world champion, a three-division world champion and being considered as one of the best in boxing’s lower weight divisions, Nietes isn’t done just yet.

“I think I already made my legacy. But I still want to achieve more,” Nietes said.

Neites, a former janitor turned world champion, has his fellow flyweight world champions in sight—World Boxing Council (WBC) champion Daigo Higa, World Boxing Organization (WBO) titleholder Sho Kimura and World Boxing Association (WBA) beltholder Kazuto Ioka.

“I want to unify titles,” he said.

Nietes wants to get a fourth division world title in a possible move to the stacked super flyweight division.

Nietes attributes his success and longevity to his dedication, hard work and self-discipline.

“That’s the technique of reaching 10 years as a world champion. Be always patient and never be overconfident, and always have self-discipline,” he said.

2 more years in elite levels

Nietes will defend his International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt in November against two-division world champion Juan Carlos Reveco.

“This fight will be good. I have prepared well. I think he’s a very tough opponent and I won’t take any chances,” he said.

Even though Nietes is 35 years old, he believes that he has at least two to three more years at the elite level.

“I feel young. I train really hard. My age may be moving up but I feel very young,” he said.

Nietes captured his first world title, the WBO mini-flyweight belt, on Sept. 30 2,007 with a unanimous decision victory over Pornsawan Porpramook.

He won his second division crown, the WBO light flyweight strap, with a unanimous decision over Raul Garcia Hirales in 2011. He finally became a three-division world champion after winning the vacant IBF flyweight belt by a unanimous decision over Komgrich Nantapech last April.

“It feels normal,” said Nietes on how he feels about being a champion for a decade.

“But I feel very happy that I also made my own legacy as Donnie Nietes.”

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