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PINOY PRIDE 18: CHAMPION VS CHAMPION IN CEBU


PhilBoxing.com




CEBU CITY – World championship boxing returns to Cebu City on March 2 when WBO light flyweight champion Donnie 'Ahas’ Nietes of the Philippines defends his title against WBO minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes of Mexico at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

ALA Promotions made the official announcement today in a press conference held at the Sarrosa International Hotel in Mabolo, Cebu City ending weeks of speculation about the venue of Nietes' next title defense.

“When I learned that Nietes’ mandatory challenger was Moises Fuentes, I realized that the fight will be tough, both in and out of the ring,” ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer said, referring to the long negotiation that followed which eventually led to the fight being brought to the ALA home base and the city known was the nerve center of boxing in the Philippines.

“Fuentes will be entering the ring as the reigning minimumweight champion. This is what makes the event historic. For the first time in Cebu, two world champions will be fighting each other,” Aldeguer added.

The 27 year old Fuentes (16W-1L, 8 KO’s) won his title by beating countryman Raul Garcia by split decision last August 2011. His best performance was against Ivan Calderon, a long reigning two division champion from Puerto Rico, who was stopped in five rounds when he challenged Fuentes.

Nietes, however, was not impressed by Fuentes’ performance. “Calderon was already past his prime when he fought Fuentes. I’m still in my prime. I will try my best to retain my title.”

The 30 year old Nietes (31W-1L-3D, 17 KO’s) has stayed in shape since his last fight in November against Thai Danai Meendaeng. The Bacolod City native is known for defending his WBO minimumweight title thrice in Mexico.

“I just continued to train after my last fight. If I was told that this fight would be held in Mexico, I would have no problems fighting there for the fourth time. As long as I train and stay in shape,’ Nietes said. The champion looked fit and trim and his current weight is very manageable when the time comes for him to go down to 108 lbs.

ALA Gym trainer Edmund Villamor is confident that they have the right game plan to beat Fuentes' aggressive fighting style.

Nietes also reigned as WBO minimumweight champion with four title defenses from 2007 to 2011 making him the second longest reigning world champ in Philippine history next to the great Flash Elorde. In his first defense as minimumweight champion, he knocked out Eddy Castro in two rounds last August 2008 in what would be the last world title fight held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. Nietes won his second world title in Bacolod City last October 2011, when he dethroned WBO lt. flyweight champ Ramon Garcia Hirales of Mexico by unanimous decision. He defended his title last year against another Mexican, Felipe Salguero by unanimous decision at the Resorts World in Pasay City.

Also set to appear on the undercards is undefeated WBO Asia- Pacific super bantamweight champion Genesis ‘Azukal’ Servania (19W-0L, 6 KO’s) who will face a yet to be named opponent. Jimrex "The Executioner" Jaca (36W-6L-3D, 20 KO's) is also another name mentioned to add spice in the supporting bouts.

Philboxing contributor Mike Lopez announced during the press conference that he got a message from Fuentes’ manager Jorge Barrera who said that they are looking forward to fighting here in Cebu and that Barrera compared Nietes to the legendary Mexican champion and Hall of Famer Ricardo Lopez.

Top photo: Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes poses in front of the banner announcing his upcoming title defense against Mexican champion Moises Fuentes on March 2, 2013 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City during Thursday's press conference held at the Sarrosa Hotel in Cebu City.


L-R: Genesis Servania, ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer and Nietes.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..


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