Philippines, 27 Jan 2023
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TARGET: ELORDE


PhilBoxing.com




WBO minimumweight champion Donnie ?Ahas? Nietes has set his sights on something bigger: Elorde?s seven-year reign as a world champion. This was Nietes?s confident goal of an answer when asked what he wanted to do after defending his world title for the third time against Mexican Mario Rodriguez in Mexico.

?I want to match Gabriel ?Flash? Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world champion.? Nietes said at the welcome press conference Friday held upon his arrival from Manila.

ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer also concurred with Nietes that while they seek this goal, Nietes will stay at the 105-pound division for his next fights before considering a move up in weight class to the light flyweight division (108 pounds). ?Donnie is still very much comfortable at 105 pounds, and this is where we?ll stay for the next defenses,? Aldeguer added.

Nietes also talked about this latest fight as being his toughest so far in Mexico where he said he had two opponents: Rodriguez and the heat. It was a case of the will to win that pushed him not to surrender despite running out of gas towards the last two rounds of the fight. Team Nietes members Edito ?Ala? Villamor and Dennis Canete described the venue as ?like an oven? in terms of heat. Villamor said that it was Nietes?s heart of a champion that got him through despite the roaring chants of the hometown crowd. Villamor and Canete also described the venue as like a box without ventilation with everyone soaked in their own sweat.

Aldeguer added that Nietes?s latest win has turned the quiet and unassuming champion into a celebrity. They were overwhelmed with the response that they received while in Mexico and upon arriving in Manila where people now recognize him. ?People now recognize him as a world champion, something that we didn?t feel before. And he?s been a champion for three years now.? Aldeguer quipped. Nietes is also scheduled to make a courtesy call on President Noynoy Aquino next week after a meeting couldn?t be arranged on Wednesday when he arrived in Manila from Los Angeles.

Nietes is set to defend his title for the fifth time in December or late-November in either Cebu or Bacolod, Nietes?s hometown. Aldeguer said that they?re making this a priority before considering another fight in Mexico. They?re working with GMA 7 and other sponsors in putting up the event, adding that it will take at least 5 million pesos to make the event a reality. Nietes?s next fight will be a mandatory defense against the top contender of the division. Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua is the # 1 ranked challenger but his management is reportedly stepping aside, claiming that at 19 years old, they?re not ready for a world title shot. The second-ranked contender is Thailander Pigmy Kokietgym (42-5-2), a veteran who has faced the likes of ex-ALA boxers Wyndel Janiola, Rodel Mayol and Joma Gamboa.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rico Navarro.


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