Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images
Nietes hasn’t fought since beating Kazuto Ioka on NYE 2018.
Top Filipino fighter Donnie Nietes sort of vanished from the face of the earth after beating Kazuto Ioka to become a four-weight champion in 2018. Now, the 38-year-old has his sights set on an impending return to the ring and a subsequent clash with one of the super flyweight division’s best after signing with a new promoter.
Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KO) was one of many standout countrymen left in the lurch when ALA Boxing, the Philippines’ largest promotional outfit, closed its doors in August. He has not yet revealed his new partners.
“The offer is pretty good. They want to give me a tune-up fight by December or January. After that they will try to negotiate with any of Rungvisai, Chocolatito or Estrada for a possible match. I don’t want to preempt. I just think that we have to wait for [them] to announce. Probably they will announce it this week,” explained Nietes.”
The WBO title he claimed against Ioka came with the expectation that he rematch mandatory challenger Aston Palicte; instead, Nietes vacated the title just before the purse bid deadline, leaving Ioka to face Palicte for the belt. He claimed he wanted a “career-defining fight,” which simply failed to develop.
Taking on one of the three he mentioned may prove difficult. Rungvisai, who’s set for a tune-up in a couple weeks, may not want to risk his WBC mandatory status against a low-reward opponent like Nietes. Gonzalez and Estrada are presently gearing up to fight one another sometime next year after sharing an October 23rd card, and whoever wins that will have both Rungvisai and whoever wins the Joshua Franco-Andrew Moloney rematch as mandatories.
Maybe Jerwin Ancajas will be free.