MANILA, Philippines - Moises Fuentes is here to snatch the WBO light-flyweight crown from Donnie Nietes on March 2 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
The good-looking boxer from Mexico City met the press yesterday, and had fun kissing the pretty girls from fight sponsor Cobra Energy Drink.
â€œItâ€™s fun here. This is a beautiful country with beautiful girls. Maganda,â€ said the 27-year-old Fuentes, the reigning WBO minimum-weight champion.
Fuentes arrived in Manila the other night with manager Jorge Barrera and a couple other team members. He carried a ring record of 16-1-0 with eight knockouts.
After the press conference, Fuentes wrapped his arms around the Cobra girls, and gleefully had pictures taken with them. The girls kissed him and he kissed them back.
Fuentes has a week to get serious and try to take the 108 lb title from Nietes, 30, the pride of Cebu, and world champion since 2007.
Nietes is not new to facing Mexican fighters, and in fact had beaten three of them on Mexican soil. In contrast, Fuentes has never fought a Filipino, and has never been here.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t matter where you fight. The climate wonâ€™t make a difference. This will be a tough fight. I expect a really fast fight,â€ added Fuentes through an interpreter, John Sheehan.
â€œThis will be a challenging fight. I believe itâ€™s going to be a good fight,â€ he added.
Nietes is in Cebu wrapping up his training. When he meets Fuentes, it will be for the official weigh-in the day before the fight.
Fuentes said he trained hard for the fight and sparred 110 rounds. He did not predict the outcome of the fight but said many times heâ€™s here to win.
â€œIâ€™m ready for the long haul. Iâ€™m ready for 12 rounds. But if Nietes goes down then thatâ€™s better. I really donâ€™t care if I win either by knockout or decision,â€ Fuentes added.
The Mexican boxer who knocked out Ivan Calderon last October said heâ€™d seen Nietes fight, and acknowledged that the Filipino is a great champion.
â€œBut Iâ€™m here to win the fight. And if I win sooner (by knockout) then fine,â€ he said.
â€œHeâ€™s ready to fight. We know itâ€™s going to be tough but Moises is fast and heâ€™s ready. Heâ€™s in shape,â€ said Barrera, brother of Mexican champion Marco Antonio Barrera.
The former nemesis of Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao is arriving in Manila on Monday to come and watch the fight billed as Pinoy Pride XVIII live in Cebu.
Barrera will be here to support Mexicoâ€™s new â€œBaby-Faced Assassin.â€