Nietes vows better version of himself in Ioka title duel
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - November 16, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Filipino ring star Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes (41-1-5, 23KOs) of the ALA Gym vows a better version of himself when he slugs it out with Kazuto Ioka (23-1, 13KOs) of Japan for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super flyweight belt either at the Macau Tower or Wynn Macau on December 31.


This will be Nietes' second shot at becoming a four-division world champion.

In his first attempt, Nietes battled to a controversial split draw with fellow countryman Ashton Palicte in a fight many thought he clearly won on the 'Superfly 3' card last September 8 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

The 36-year-old Nietes, who once held court in the WBO minimumweight and light flyweight and IBF flyweight divisions, was given another chance to vie for the vacant throne against Ioka during the 31st WBO Annual Convention earlier this month in Panama.

Though no contracts have been signed yet, ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer, the promoter of Nietes, said the bout is already a done deal.

The fighting pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental is now in the thick of torrid training preparatory for what he perceives as another tough challenge in his illustrious career that saw him earning multiple titles including the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion.

Nietes said he has so much respect for the 29-year-old Ioka, who like him is a three-division titlist, that is why he is making the most out of his training camp.

"He's (Ioka) a good boxer, he's fast," Nietes said. "But we're studying  carefully his style. I'll be ready by then come the big day."

Nietes, however, is reluctant to predict a knockout saying it will just come if opportunity presents itself.

"I'm not thinking about it because this Japanese guy is hard to knock out. But if I just get the right timing, a knockout will just come."

Nietes assured not only to give his best shot but also to present a better version of himself before his fans.

"I'm happy to be given another chance to fight for this vacant world championship belt and hopefully win a fourth world title in a fourth weight division," said Nietes. "I just have to work hard to improve my power and quickness and become a better fighter that before."

For ALA chief trainer Editor Villamor, that's what makes Nietes special. He never ceases to learn and keeps on improving himself even though his fistic skills has already been sharpened out of his two-decade stint in the fight arena.

"Donnie has a bright chance of winning the WBO 115 lbs. title because of his attitude towards training that you cannot see in other boxers," said Villamor. "Hopefully we will nail it this time."

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