Nietes vacates WBO super fly title
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - March 2, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Four-division world champion Donnie 'Ahas' Nietes totally shut the door on a rematch with fellow countryman 'Mighty' Ashton Palicte after voluntarily abdicating his World Boxing Organization super flyweight throne yesterday.

 

The ALA Gym superstar announced his decision in an official statement posted on his Facebook page and sent to different media outlets by ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer.

"After thinking hard about it for a long time, I have decided to vacate my WBO Super flyweight belt, I feel in my heart that there is no point to do the rematch with Ashton Palicte after the controversial draw," said Nietes in a statement. "Also, I would want to give my fellow Filipino Ashton Palicte a chance to fight for the World title to bring pride and glory to our country.

During their first encounter on September 8 last year at The Forum in Los Angeles, Nietes and Palicte battled to a highly disputable draw for the then vacant WBO super flyweight belt, with pretty much everyone agreeing that Nietes was the clear winner.

A month ago, the WBO ordered a return bout between Nietes and Palicte following their victorious campaigns.

The 34-year-old Nietes eventually seized the WBO 115-pound crown after beating Japan's Kazuto Ioka by decision on New Year's eve in Macau to become the only third Filipino boxer to win four world titles in different weight divisions after the legendary Manny Pacquiao and Nonito 'The Filipino Flash' Donaire Jr.

 Palicte, on the other hand, earned the right to challenge Nietes once again after knocking out Puerto Rico’s Jose Chiquiro Martinez in their WBO eliminator last January 31 in California.

After the camps of Nietes and Palicte failed to reach an agreement within the prescribed 15-day period, the WBO ordered a purse bid that was supposedly set to take place yesterday but did not push through due to Nietes' move.

As for his immediate plans, the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental said he wants to go after the other big names in the super flyweight  division with hopes of cementing his legacy as one of the greatest fighters of his generation.

 "I hope to seek bigger fights with the world champions of the other organizations. It may or may not happen but I believe this is the right decision under this situation," stated Nietes as he looks forward to a megafight with either WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, WBA champion Khalid Yafai or former champion Juan Franciso Estrada who are all in his crosshairs.

ASHTON PALICTE DONNIE NIETES
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