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SPORTS SHORTS 66: DONNIE NIETES AND ALBERT PAGARA WILL FIGHT IN THE UNDERCARD OF JAMEL HERRING VS. CARL FRAMPTON WBO JR. LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP IN DUBAI


PhilBoxing.com




Two of the Philippines’ finest boxers, former four-division world champion Donnie Nietes (42-1-5, 23 KOs) and former IBF intercontinental super bantamweight titlist Albert Pagara (33-1, 23 KOs), will fight in the undercard of the WBO junior lightweight title clash between champion Jamel Herring and challenger Carl Frampton.

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The event will be on April 3 at The Rotunda in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nietes, age 38 years of Murcia, Negros Occidental, will prove to the boxing world that he is still a potent fighting force with a lot of gas left in his oxygen tank.

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Nietes last fought on December 31, 2018, when he won the vacant WBO superflyweight title defeating Japan's Kazuto Ioka via split decision at Wynn Palace, Macau.

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Pagara last fought in a fight winning over veteran Virgil Puton of Polomolok, South Cotabato, by unanimous decision in an eight-rounder in one of the fights of Omega Pro Sports International's boxing event last December 18, 2020.

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Pagara (33-1, 23 KOs), age 27 years of Maasin City, Southern Leyte, is full of skills and has the potential to become a future world champion. He is regarded as one of the hardest-hitting super-bantamweights in the division.

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Donnie Nietes and Albert Pagara are already set to fight on an MTK and D4G Promotions show at the Round 10 Boxing Club on that date, with ESPN+ already contracted to stream that fight. The long-delayed Herring-Frampton clash will be catapulted as the new headliner.

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Though they were originally scheduled to clash this upcoming Saturday in London, Frampton requested an extension due to lingering hand issues. He and Herring (22-2, 10 KO) have suffered some troubles the last few years.

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“All of the postponements have been frustrating, but I’m happy that this fight is still happening,” Herring said. "After watching the great performance Oscar Valdez showcased over the weekend, I’m definitely looking forward to making a statement in this exciting division."

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He says he still has the same hunger when this fight was first presented. “I know a victory over Frampton will lead to bigger and better things down the road, but I have to take care of Carl Frampton first and I’m totally focused on defending my title on April 3.”

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“Delighted to get this the new date and venue confirmed, it’s definitely been a rollercoaster to get here,” Frampton (28-2, 16 KO) said. “This is my chance to make history and fans or no fans, this fight is going to be one fight fans will remember.

* * *

Jamel is a tough opponent but I’ve put the work in, I have a fire lit inside me and I’m confident that this legacy fight will go in my favour on the night, I’ll be leaving it all in the ring.”

* * *

Frampton defeated Nonito Donaire by unanimous decision, becoming the WBO interim featherweight champion. All three judges scored the fight 117-111 for Frampton on April 21, 2018 at the SSE Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Herring is age 35 years of Rockville Centre, New York, United States while Frampton is age 34 years of Shore Road, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

* * *

Per the poster, the card will also host a rescheduled clash between super lightweights Zhankosh Turarov (24-0, 17 KO) of Akkol, Kazakhstan and Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1, 6 KO) of Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

* * *

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez takes on Avni Yildirim with the WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring super middleweight titles on the line. Canelo dreams of becoming the undisputed champion at 168 lbs, but his journey must pass through mandatory challenger Yildirim. Both fighters square off Saturday at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

* * *

Turkish fighter Yildirim gets all of Canelo's focus, although the Mexican multiple champion claimed that he is "superior to Yildirim” and expects to leave Miami with all his belts intact. Yildirim twice challenged for a world title and Alvarez knows he'll be facing an experienced fighter who has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

* * *

Yildirim (21-2, 12 KO) was stopped in three rounds and totally dominated by Chris Eubank Jr. in 2017, but did a better move in a more controversial technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell in 2019. That was also his last fight two years ago. New trainer Joel Diaz says Yildirim is a changed fighter.

* * *

"[Yildirim] says he will shock the world, but for him to even get to this point, he has already shocked the world," Yildirim's promoter, Ahmet Oner, said at a news conference over ESPN. "Because on the other side, it's Canelo Alvarez."

* * *

"It's like facing Ronaldo or Messi in soccer. For a Turkish boxer to appear on a stage like this, understand that he is talented. In Turkish sports, we have never been able to get to a position like this," Oner added.

* * *

Only five countries have participated in every Summer Olympic Games: Australia, France, Great Britain, Greece, and Switzerland. The United States leads the all-time medal tally for the Olympics.

* * *

The International Olympic Committee has selected Tokyo, Japan for a second time to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. But will take place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* * *

The 2024 Summer Olympics will be held in Paris, France for a third time, exactly one hundred years after the city's last Olympics in 1924. The IOC has also selected Los Angeles, California to host its third Olympic Games in 2028.

* * *

The Utah Jazz dominated the day with a 25-point demolition of the defending champions LA Lakers, 114-89. It was another win for the NBA-leading Jazz and a fourth straight defeat for the Anthony Davis-less Lakers in Salt Lake City.

* * *

Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points as Utah got their 22nd win in 24 games. LeBron James scored 19 points for the Lakers but had little support from his teammates as they suffered the fifth defeat in six games. Utah got its best start, winning 26 of their season opening 32 games.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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