ALA's Donnie Nietes chasing Flash Elorde's record

(Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)

WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes  who faces a tough test against Mexico’s Moises Fuentes in a mandatory title rematch ordered by WBO president Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel has one more thing on his mind aside from winning in the main event of the tremendously successful Pinoy Pride series of the  giant broadcast network ABS-CBN in partnership with the famed ALA Promotions at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

That quest is to get closer to breaking the record set by the late, great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, who reigned as world junior lightweight champion for seven years and three months, having won the title on March 16, 1960 with a spectacular seventh round knockout of American Harold Gomes at the inauguration of the Araneta Coliseum before losing by a majority decision to young Japanese Toshiaki Numata on June 15, 1967 in Tokyo despite dropping Numata in the third round.

Nietes who has reigned as WBO minimumweight and light flyweight champion began his quest when he won the 105 pound title from previously undefeated Thai champion Pornsawan Porpramook (20-0) on September  30, 2007 and then moved up in weight and captured the WBO light flyweight title with a unanimous twelve round decision over Ramon Garcia Hirales at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City on October 8, 2011.

A victory on Saturday would signify a reign of  six years, seven months, and ten days by Nietes as a world champion, just under eight months  away from equaling Elorde’s remarkable feat.


(Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)

While retaining his title is uppermost in his mind, Nietes realizes that to chase the record of Elorde he has to win.

A victory will be even more significant especially after IBF light flyweight champion Johnriel Casimero with whom he sparred while both men were preparing for their respective title defenses was stripped of his title when he came in five pounds over the 108-pound limit for his title defense last Saturday at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu. However, the hard-hitting Filipino dropped overmatched, No. 12 ranked challenger Mauricio Fuentes of Colombia three times in the opening round to score a smashing first round TKO.

Nietes has been training harder than ever for his title defense, knowing that Moises Fuentes, unlike Mauricio Fuentes, is a  formidable opponent.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Yahoo Philippines “Donnie is ready for this chance. It is the biggest fight out there for him.”

Aldeguer said “it will be a tough fight but I have never seen Donnie work so hard,” pointing out that the WBO light flyweight champion trained in the United States under a great conditioning coach in Nick Curson (who is also now working with Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire). Donnie is ready to go.”

The youthful promoter believes Nietes “is really up there. This is the fight that is going to be defining his career and we are happy to bring this title defense to the Philippines.”

Reflecting on Nietes’ first clash with Fuentes which ended in a majority draw after American judges Adalaide Byrd and Pat Russel scored the fight an even 114-114 although Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan had Nietes the winner 115-113, concedes that Nietes “got carried away” and abandoned the game plan after the first four or five rounds.

Aldeguer said Nietes “got into a brawl which is not his style” but was lured into it by Fuentes.

He insists, “Donnie has to stick to the fight plan. He has a good right and picks his punches behind a solid jab.”

The trainers of Nietes headed by former world title challenger Edito “Ala” Villamor have sat down with Donnie and reviewed tapes of their first fight and “looking at what he did right and what he did wrong.”

(Voltaire Domingo/NPPA IMAGES)

Early in his career Michael recalled that Nietes was “one of the biggest punchers we had in the stable and he then became a very calculating fighter. He knew how to win and became comfortable with that.

Aldeguer is confident that Nietes “has matured a lot and he knows that to make history, this is the fight. If he wants to break the record of ‘Flash’ Elorde this is the fight that will define him and his career.”

Indeed, Nietes showed he had power when he dropped former WBC Silver champion Sammy Gutierrez three times en route to a third round TKO at the Araneta Coliseum on November 30 last year.

According to Aldeguer, Nietes understands that he “needs a convincing win and needs to dominate Fuentes and do the right things. He’s learned a lot. He is ready to go and it’s a fight of his life. It won’t be an easy fight but I think it will define what Donnie Nietes really is and there is no question why he will not win the rematch.”

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ALA's Donnie Nietes chasing Flash Elorde's record
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