NIETES-FUENTES REMATCH ELEVATED TO RING LINEAL JUNIOR FLYWEIGHT TITLE
By Dong Secuya
Wed, 07 May 2014
CEBU CITY -- The WBO light flyweight title fight between defending champion Donnie Nietes of the Philippines and mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes of Mexico this Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila has gained added significance when the Ring Magazine has elevated the bout to vie for the Ring Junior Flyweight Lineal Belt.
In a note from its latest ratings update, Ring stated that the "Ratings Panel has OK’d this bout to be for THE RING’s vacant junior flyweight title."
Nietes is rated No. 1 and Fuentes No. 3 by Ring. The Ring light flyweight title became vacant when then lineal champion Giovanni Segura of Mexico moved up in weight on September 19, 2011.
With this development, Nietes attempts to become the 4th Filipino boxer to win a lineal title in the present crop of Filipino pugilists following the footsteps of Manny Pacquiao (Featherweight, Nov. 15, 2003; Super Featherweight, March 15, 2008; and Junior Welterweight, May 2, 2009), Nonito Donaire Jr (Junior Featherweight, Oct. 13, 2012) and Sonny Boy Jaro (Flyweight, March 2, 2012).
Filipino boxers who previously won lineal titles were Francisco Guilledo (Pancho Villa), Dado Marino, Flash Elorde, Ben Villaflor, Erbito Salavarria and Frank Cedeno.
Additionally, Nietes is in hot pursuit to break the long standing record of Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino title holder. Elorde reigned as world junior lightweight champion for seven years and three months from March 16, 1960 to June 15, 1967. Nietes, who won the WBO minimumweight title on Sep. 30, 2007 and then the WBO junior flyweight title on Oct. 8, 2011, will be eight months shy of Elorde's record if he successfully defends his title against Fuentes this Saturday.
Nietes and Fuentes battled to a majority draw during their first encounter on March 2, 2013 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City.
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