Philippines, 14 Aug 2020
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NIETES READY TO RUMBLE AGAINST IOKA


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU ? The Philippines' longest reigning world champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes is highly confident he will beat Japanese star Kazuto Ioka when they meet in a mouth-watering matchup for the vacant WBO world super flyweight title on New Year's Eve at the Wynn Palace Cotai in Macau.

?I really feel I will be able to handle him [Ioka],? Nietes told boxing scribes at the Summit Circle Hotel here Thursday which included a group sent by the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS), the Japan TV network that will broadcast the fight to Japan from Macau on the night of Dec. 31.

?I feel I had more difficult opponents than Ioka,? Nietes continued. ?But of course I have to prepare very hard for this fight.?

Nietes (41-1-5, 23KOs) is a three-division world champion so is Kazuto Ioka (23-1-0, 13KOs). Both had won titles in the 105, 108 and 112 pound divisions. Ioka will try to become the first Japanese to win world titles in four divisions while Nietes would want to follow the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr, the two Filipinos who have already accomplished such a rare feat.

Nietes, actually, should have already achieved that feat in his last fight last September against compatriot Aston Palicte in a fight for the same WBO title that most people saw Nietes winning but ended in a split draw.

Asked whether that 'setback' did not discourage him, Nietes said: ?It happens in boxing. We have to accept it. If anything, it means I have to do more to convince the judges. Or better yet, I have to knock out my opponent so the judges would not matter anymore.?


Donnie Nietes (2nd from left) poses with trainer Edmund Villamor (L) conditioning coach Nick Curson (2nd from right) and ALA matchmaker Edito Villamor during Thursday's presscon at the Summit Circle Hotel along Fuente Osmena in Cebu City.

As far as his age is concerned, the 36-year-old Nietes said he feels like 24. ?In my last fight [against Palicte] I feel I can still go three, five more rounds [at the end of the fight]. I feel young ? 24 years old young.? Nietes's stamina has also been attributed to his conditioning coach Nick Curson who took over the job during Nietes's rematch with Moses Fuentes on May, 2014.

Ioka however is no pushover. In his 24 fights, he had fought opponents all with winning records except the first two. His opponents had a combined winning record of 562 against 76 losses (13%). He had an impressive run after winning the WBA world flyweight title in 2015 having defended it six times and was dominant in his last fight against contender McWilliams Arroyo.

Nietes (47 fights) fought 10 fighters with losing records early in his career but when he won his first world title in July, 2007 against Saengpetch Kokiet Gym, he never looked back, never lost and became the legendary Filipino fighter he has become.

Nietes and Ioka fought three common opponents in Jadsada Polyiam, Heri Amol and Juan Carlos Reveco. Both fought Polyiam and Amol early in their careers while they fought Reveco fairly recently. Ioka fought Reveco twice, the first one when he wrested Reveco's WBA world flyweight title on April 22, 2015 in Japan in a majority decision and the rematch on Dec. 31, 2015 where Ioka stopped Reveco in the 11th round. Nietes fought Reveco on Feb. 24, 2018 in the last defense of his IBF world flyweight title where he stopped Reveco in the 7th round.

Nietes's trainer Edmund Villamor said they have focused on reviewing Ioka's fight against McWillaims Arroyo and his fight against Reveco to prepare for the Dec. 31 fight. ?Those are the fight that we focused on,? Villamor said. ?Ioka loves to come forward but sometimes he also boxes and run. So we prepare for any eventuality.?

The Dec. 31 event will also feature the WBA world light flyweight title fight between defending champion Hekkie Budler of South Africa and Hiroto Kyoguchi of Japan; the IBF world flyweight championship between defending champion Moruti Mthalane of South Africa and Japanese challenger Masahiro Sakamoto; and the WBC Youth Silver light flyweight championship between Raymond Poon KaiChing of Hong Kong against Mongkol Kamsommat of Thailand.

The event is being co-promoted by Tom Loeffler's 360 Promotions, TLARock, Lifetime Promotions, Watanabe Promotions of Japan, ALA Promotions of the Philippines and DEF Promotions of Hong Kong.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Dong Secuya.


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