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Nietes tapers down for flyweight title bid

Donnie Nietes

MANILA, Philippines - Donnie Nietes, seeking a world title in a third weight class, can pick up a few lessons from compatriot Albert Pagara ahead of his April 29 clash with Thailand’s Komgrich Nantapech.

The 34-year-old Nietes will gun for the vacant IBF flyweight crown against the former muay fighter from Bangkok. The scheduled 12-rounder is set at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.

Nietes must have gone through video clips of Pagara’s swift second-round knockout of Nantapech in a flyweight match that took place on Nov. 15, 2012 in Maasin, Leyte.

“I feel ready for the fight,” said Nietes, the former minimumweight and light-flyweight king from Cebu City, where he has begun tapering off after going the full 12 rounds of sparring last week. 

Nietes, who has not tasted defeat in over 12 years, will carry his 39-1-4 record to the ring. His Thai opponent is at 22-3-0 since turning pro in 2011.

It’s two weeks to the fight, and Nietes, now more comfortable fighting at 112 pounds, can already sense victory, and the chance to join Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as the only Pinoy boxers to win world titles in at least three weight divisions.

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The hard part in training is over. 

“I have a very good feeling about this fight, because I’ve trained longer. I put in more time and focus, because I want to give a good performance,” said the star fighter of ALA Promotions in Cebu.

“This is only my second flyweight match, but I’m confident I will be able to deliver a knockout,” he said.

Nantapech is unfazed by Nietes’ strong reputation as a world champion, saying his background as a muay fighter should create problems for the Filipino.

Nietes, he said, will meet his match on April 29.

“I see Nietes as a very good boxer and a tough opponent, but I always come to win,” said the Thai boxer.

“My team and I have been studying Nietes’ tapes, so I know this will be an exciting fight,” he added in transcripts provided by ALA Promotions.

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