ALA cites Curson for Nietes win
Joaquin M. Henson (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - ALA Gym owner Antonio (Bidoy) Aldeguer was all smiles after WBO lightflyweight champion Donnie Nietes retained his crown in scintillating fashion, halting the fancied Mexican Moises Fuentes at 2:58 of the ninth in their scheduled 12-round title bout at the Mall of Asia Arena last Saturday night.

“I prayed to God for a convincing win but I never imagined it would be spectacular,” beamed Aldeguer. “Donnie deserves the recognition. He’s a quiet, humble champion like the late Flash Elorde. Fans tend to ignore him because he’s not visible out of the ring. But knocking out a tough challenger like Fuentes establishes how great he is. We owe this to his new conditioning coach Nick Curson whom I consider to be a genius.”

Curson, 40, was in Nietes’ corner with Edmund and Edito Villamor and cutman Dr. Ed de la Vega for the Fuentes rematch. He studied film of Nietes’ previous fights then consulted with physiologists and biomechanical engineers in formulating a conditioning program to prepare the champion for his fourth title defense against Fuentes.

“Nick wrote us from the US a few years ago, offering his services but we didn’t know him from Adam so we held off,” said Aldeguer. “He persisted in writing us and finally, when our trainer Edito (Villamor) went with two of our fighters to the US last March, he checked Nick out in Redondo Beach. We got positive feedback from Edito so we sent Donnie to train with him. Nick hosted our boys in his home in Redondo Beach for three weeks then came over a month back to continue their training. We introduced Nick to Nonito (Donaire) and he’s now working with him for his fight against (Simpiwe) Vetyeka in Macau on May 31.”

Nietes, 31, confirmed that Curson’s regimen gave him a huge edge over Fuentes. Curson said it’s not difficult to work with Filipino athletes. “I think Filipino athletes are naturally gifted,” he said. “We did plyometrics and worked on building explosive fast-twitch muscle with Donnie. The focus was in improving Donnie’s speed and power. I’m personally very excited to work with the ALA Boys and Nonito. I’ll be going back to the US after Nonito’s fight but I hope to come back and maybe, settle in Cebu for good. My Cebuana girlfriend is in the US and I hope to bring her back with me.”

Curson has 18 years of conditioning experience and has worked with several American athletes in baseball, football and mixed martial arts. He specializes in the Eastern Bloc Marinovich conditioning system and works closely with Russian neurologist and physiology expert Dr. Igor Lavrov of the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg. Curson owns and operates the Speed of Sport training center in Redondo Beach, California.

“Over the past several years, I have incorporated what I believe to be the best training modalities from various sources and science databases,” said Curson in his website. “These methods have led me to produce multiple national, NCAA and high school champions. I have trained and still train many of the best players in multiple professional sports. With the way I utilize my training system now, I’ve helped many professional and amateur athletes become better, stronger and faster than ever. I’m passionate about what I do. I guarantee success and improvement. My client retention rate for sports training is unprecedented.”

Curson’s focus on speed and power was evident in the way Nietes manhandled Fuentes. ALA trainer Edito Villamor said Nietes executed the fightplan against Fuentes to perfection. “We knew Fuentes would come forward, that’s his style,” said Villamor in Filipino. “So we worked on foot movement, spinning away from Fuentes to throw him off balance then throwing the overhand right. We didn’t want to just counter, we wanted to be first so Fuentes wouldn’t be able to get momentum for his attack. We always knew Donnie had power but Nick showed him how to use it effectively.”

Nietes said he was never hurt by Fuentes’ vaunted body shots. “I was ready for his body punches,” he said in Filipino. “He never hit me solid in the body, his punches hit my elbows and arms. I first noticed he was getting hurt with my own body shots in the fifth or sixth. That was when I knew I could knock him out.” Fuentes, 28, went down thrice in the ninth round before referee Robert Byrd stopped it.

Nietes finished the fight with a welt in the corner of his left eye and the left side of his face marred by a black blotch. The win reestablished his reputation as a Mexecutioner. Nietes has not lost in 10 fights against Mexicans and in 2009-10, set a record by defeating three Mexicans – Mario Rodriguez, Manuel Vargas and Erik Ramirez – on points in defending his WBO 105-pound title in Mexico.




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