Freeman Cebu Sports

Nietes sets another date with history

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – All his life, he had been winning battles even on hostile territories.

A future Hall of Famer in Philippine sports, he has already etched his name his stone as the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion among his long list of accomplishments.

But despite his glittering success, two-division world champion Donnie Nietes feels deep inside him that there is still something lacking in his fistic journey - to showcase his skills and make a name for himself on US soil.

After years of waiting and longing, the moment has finally come for Nietes to make his dream fight a reality.

And he looks forward to it with zest and much excitement. Not beause he's the  headliner of the show, but because he sets himself off to another date with history.

That looms large in the horizon of the 32-year-old Nietes as he topbills the first ever Pinoy Pride event of ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports in the United States dubbed as "Pinoy Pride 33:Filipinos Conta Latinos" on October 17 at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California.

"I was originally set to defend my title this November in Bacolod but upon learning that I'm going to fight in the US, I said to myself that this is it! This is the moment

I've been waiting for and I won't let this opportunity pass away," said Nietes. "This is the fight I've been dreaming of and I'm so happy that it will finally come true. Fighting before Filipino fans and a foreign crowd in the US means so much for me. I can't promise anything for now except that I will just do my best to give them an enjoyable and entertaining fight," added the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental.

ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer formally launched their historic fighcard yesterday at Montebello Villa Hotel.

"This is something we've always planned out for the past years. We really felt that this has to happen. This was just a dream that we've been thinking of and eveything will just fall into place on October 17," said Aldeguer.

"This is the most difficult event we ever put up. (The process) of getting a US license alone is painstaking," he continued. "But as what I've said, this is not just for ALA but for Philippine boxing in general as it gives the chance for all the Filipino

fighters around the world to be showcased in the US."

"We will just have to do it little by little until it will grow by leaps and bounds over the years," Aldeguer added.

Aside from Nietes, the milestone event in the annals of Philippine boxing also

features the celebrated brothers 'Prince' Albert and Jason 'El Nino' Pagara as well as rising ALA star Mark 'Magnifico' Magsayo.

"We're very thankful for this great opportunity of fighting in the US. We're up to the challenge, but we must prepare hard for it," said the Pagaras, who will be off to the US soon to undergo a rigorous training at Freddie Roach's WildCard Gym in Los Angeles preparatory for the biggest test of their respective careers.

The Pagara siblings recently headlined the highly successful 'Duel in Dubai 2'

where they pulled off contrasting wins against Mexican foes at the Dubai World Trade Center in United Arab Emirates, while Magsayo scored a smashing fifth round stoppage of Mexican Rafael Reyes last July 11 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

They've proven their worth already, but showcasing their skills and talents in what is touted as the 'boxing mecca of the world' will surely be an acid test if they are all indeed primed and ready for the big time. (FREEMAN)

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