Palicte hopes to use that advantage against Nietes today (noon in Manila) when they dispute the vacant WBO super-flyweight crown at The Forum in Inglewood, California.
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Palicte, Nietes duel in all-Pinoy bout
Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — With his four-inch height advantage, Ashton Palicte looked down on former three-division champion Donnie Nietes during yesterday’s official weigh-in.

Palicte hopes to use that advantage against Nietes today (noon in Manila) when they dispute the vacant WBO super-flyweight crown at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Nietes will rely on experience in his bid to become only the third Filipino boxer to win world titles in at least four weight classes after Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr.

At 36, Nietes is nine years older than Palicte, who at 5’7” is four inches taller.

Nietes has won world titles at minimumweight, light-flyweight and flyweight, and is making his debut at 115 pounds. He hasn’t lost a fight since 2004 (41-1-3 with 23 knockouts).

Palicte, 24-2 with 20 KOs, is more comfortable at super-flyweight, but has never faced a fighter as skillful, as sound as Nietes.

It’s the second all-Filipino title fight this year after Jerwin Ancajas defended his IBF super-flyweight title against Jonas Sultan last May in Fresno, California.

Both fighters tipped the scales just under the limit – Nietes at 114.8 and Palicte at 114.6.

They did the traditional staredown, and for 15 seconds looked at each other straight in the eye, like bitter rivals inside the ring.

But they maintained there’s nothing personal.

“Fight lang. Walang personalan,” said Nietes’ trainer, Edito Villamor, ahead of the fight.

Unless the fight ends in draw, another Filipino will be crowned world champion today, and join the Ancajas, Vic Saludar (WBO minimumweight) and Pacquiao (WBA welterweight).

Bruno Escalante of Cebu is on the card, and will face Romania’s Alexandaru Marin for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental crown at 115 pounds.

In the main bout, former world champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico battles countryman Felipe Orucuta.

ASHTON PALICTE DONNIE NIETES
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