The Philippines Premier World-Class Boxing Organization

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Long-time champ shares recipe for success

By: Calvin Cordova,


Donnie Nietes shows his collection of belts in what has been an illustrious career for the longest-reigning Filipino world champion.


Donnie “Ahas” Nietes reached the top and did the harder part when he stayed there for a period of time that no other Filipino boxer has done.

Last Saturday, Nietes celebrated his 10thyear as a world champion, further cementing his status as the longest-reigning Filipino world champion.

“I am happy that I was able to stay as a world champion for a decade. It is an achievement that I could not have done without the support of ALA Promotions, my fans, my family,” Nietes told a group of Cebu-based sportswriters in a dinner hosted by ALA Promotions last Saturday at The Park Social in I.T. Park, Cebu City.

It was in September 30, 2007 when Nietes became a world champion, ruling the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) 105-pound division by beating Thailand’s Pornsawan Porpramook at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

“That’s probably the most memorable part of my career. Whatever I achieved right now, it all started on that day,” said Nietes (40W-1L-4D, 22KOs).

After winning his first world title in 2007, Nietes would go on to win the WBO World minimumweight and the IBF World flyweight titles, putting him in the company of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr. as the only Filipino boxers to rule three or more weight classes.

In what has been an illustrious career, Nietes considered his two meetings with Mexican boxer Moises Fuentes as his toughest fights.

“He was really tough. I had to dig deep to overcome him,” said Nietes.

Nietes and Fuentes first met in March 2, 2013 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino for the WBO World light flyweight title. The match ended up in a majority draw.

The score was finally settled when the two boxers met anew in May 10, 2014 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. Nietes showed who was the better boxer when he knocked out Fuentes in the ninth round to wrest the WBO World light flyweight belt.

From being a janitor at the ALA Boxing Gym to becoming a world-class pugilist, Nietes’ success story is without a doubt an inspiring one.

Nietes said the recipe for success is simple.

“Self-discipline. You really have to be very disciplined if you want to succeed in boxing. You have to manage your weight with or without an scheduled fight. When it is time to train, you have to focus and train right. And most importantly, you have to obey your coaches, follow what they want you to do because they won’t let you do something that will harm you,” said Nietes.

Now 35 years old, 10 years of being a world champion and a three-division world champion, Nietes has no plans of slowing down.

“I still have a lot to show. Age is just a number. I am happy with what I have achieved but I still want to do more,” said Nietes.

Nietes is set to defend his IBF World flyweight belt as negotiations for his next fight against Argentina’s Juan Carlos Reveco (39W-3L-0D, 19KOs) are already underway.

Nietes believes he still has three good years left and he intends to go out in style.

“I’ve been in the business for a long time but I still got so much left in the tank. I still love to train, I am determined to work harder and that’s the key if you are to succeed,” he said.

ALA Boxing Gym chief trainer Edito Villamor shared it is NIetes’ work ethic and admirable character that propelled him to the pedestal of success.

“He is the most hardworking guy in the gym. He never had weight issues going into his fights because he is very disciplined. But what I like him most is his attitude. He is easy to get along with because is very down to earth, very humble,” said Villamor.

Villamor said aspiring boxers who dream to make it big doesn’t have to look far for inspiration.

“Just do what Nietes did and the window of vast opportunities will open,” Villamor said.


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