Philippines, 29 Feb 2024
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CEBU ? It's payback time for Palicte. The Philippines' longest reigning world champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes revealed during Friday's press conference at St Mark's Hotel here that he intend to exact revenge against compatriot Aston Palicte when they meet on Sep. 8 on 'Superly 3' event at The Forum in Inglewood, California for the vacant WBO world super flyweight crown.

?This will be revenge,? Nietes told the assembled Cebu media on the eve of his departure for Los Angeles. ?Palicte beat my cousin Gerald [Nietes] many years ago in the amateurs. Now the time has come for me to exact revenge for my cousin,? Nietes said.

Nietes was born in Murcia while Palicte was born in Bago City, neighboring towns in Negros Occidental, one of the islands in central Philippines. Bago City is known for its beautiful natural resources and in the 1990's has been made famous by its outstanding amateur boxers including 1996 Atlanta Olympic silver medalist Mansueto 'Onyok' Velasco and older brother Roel Velasco who won bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. Recently however Bago has been upstaged by Murcia with the rise of Donnie Nietes. In what was an inter-city and inter-town competitions between Bago City and Murcia boxers, it has now been brought to the world stage with the Nietes-Palicte world championship fight which will be held in one of the world's biggest boxing venues in Los Angeles and to be broadcast live on television's premier network HBO.

This will be the second time this year that an all-Filipino world title fight will be held after the Jerwin Ancajas vs Jonas Sultan IBF world title showdown in Fresno, California last May 26. The first world title fight between two Filipinos was held in 1925 between Pancho Villa and Clever Sencio in Manila.

L-R: Trainer Edmund Villamor, Donnie Nietes and matchmaker Edito Villamor during Friday's press conference at St Mark's Hotel in Cebu City.

Since 2007, Nietes captured titles in the minimumweight, junior flyweight and flyweight divisions and has decided to moved up to the talent rich superfly 115 lb division where he was ranked No. 1 by the WBO and then mandated to face No. 2 ranked Palicte.

Nietes, who went to Fresno for the Ancajas-Sultan fight, remained in Los Angeles to train with strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson who bulked Nietes's 5' 3? body to prepare for the super flyweight division. Nietes returned to Cebu last week of June and Curson followed suit shortly to continue work on Nietes.

Edmund Villamor, who was also with Nietes in Los Angeles, attested to the effectivity of the program. ?We had Nietes sparred with bigger guys in Jeo Santisima and Virgel Vitor [who fight as super bantams] and also against a bigger European at the Wildcard Gym. We saw Nietes can now absorb their power and when he blocks their punches he is not thrown back. He hold his ground against bigger opponents,? Villamor said.

Edmund's brother Edito added Team Nietes was happy that the the fight with Palicte was moved to September 8 instead of the original August 18 schedule. ?The postponement added more time for Donnie's body to become more mature and accustomed to the heavier weight,? Villamor said.

Meanwhile, Palicte has been reported to be training diligently at Sanman's Gym in General Santos City ahead of the biggest fight of his career under the tutelage of trainer Rodel Mayol, himself a former two-time world champion. Mayol mentored Palicte during his recent wins in the United States against Oscar Cantu and Jose Alfredo Rodriguez.

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