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DONNIE-NATION OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

By Dong Secuya
PhilBoxing.com
23 Mar 2017



Cebu City – Donnie-Nation, the official title of Pinoy Pride's 40th edition featuring Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes' world title fight against No. 4 ranked IBF flyweight Gomrich Nantapech of Thailand, was officially launched Thursday afternoon at the Waterfront Hotel here where Nietes won his first world title in 2007 and where now he is targeting his third world title in as many division come April 29.

Also in attendance during the launching were undefeated featherweight Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo and knockout artist superbantam Jeo Santisima who will be Nietes's main support bouts. Magsayo (15-0, 11KOs) will face 35-fight veteran Issa Nampepeche (24-7-4, 11KOs) of Tanzania in a 10-round non-title featherweight bout while Santisima (12-2-0, 11KOs) will take on Master Suro (11-8-0, 2KOs) of Indonesia, also in a 10-round non-title super bantamweight bout.

Nietes (39-1-4, 22KOs), the longest world champion in Philippine boxing history and who hasn't lost a fight in the last 10 years, is determined to make an impressive showing against Nantapech and capture the IBF world flyweight title to cement his mark in the boxing world.

“I've trained very hard for this fight. I've studied my opponent very carefully. I'm 100% sure I will win. If there is an opportunity, I will knock him [Nantapech] out,” Nietes, who, as a preparation for this fight regularly sparred with fellow world champion Milan Melindo and world-ranked Arthur Villanueva as well as up-and-comers Virgil Vitor and Christian Bacolod, told the local media.

However, Nietes's trainer Edmund Villamor said that Nietes is only at 60% so far. “He is only about 60% right now but we will be peaking at the right time as the fight draws near,” Villamor, who still have a little over one month to mold his ward into a fighting machine, said.

Meanwhile, Nantapech (23-3-0, 15KOs) hasn't lost a fight since losing to Froilan Saludar on Oct. 26, 2013, registering a 15-0 run with 11 stoppages and will be aiming to duplicate the feat of his compatriot Srisaket Sor Rungvisai who shocked the boxing world last weekend when he defeated pound for pound king Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua.

On the undercard, when asked why budding stars Magsayo and Santisima were getting lightly regarded opponents, ALA Promotions matchmaker Edito Villamor said it's part of the ALA program to ensure Magsayo and Santisima are well-rounded in their skills as they make their way to fight against the elites in the future.

“Like Magsayo for example, he gets an opponent who can box. It is in contrast to [Chris] Avalos who comes forward. This is part of their growing up,” Villamor said. “Satisima gets an opponent who had 8 losses but of those 8 losses, he had only one knockout loss. So this will test Santisima's power if he can stop this guy who is very difficult to knock out,” Villamor added.


L-R: Trainer Edmund Villamor, matchmaker Edito Villamor, Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo, Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes, Jeo 'Santino' Santisima and trainer Michael Domingo during Thursday press conference at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City. Photo by Levi Deresas.


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