Nietes defends crown vs Mexican foe today

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DONNIE Nietes (left) is eyeing a big victory over Felipe Salguero. RAFFY LERMA

BOXING has stopped being a matter of winning or losing for Donnie Nietes, who has compiled a glowing resume.

It’s now just about winning—and winning big.

“He has to come up with a very impressive performance to show that he is ready for the big guns,” said ALA Promotions chief Michael Aldeguer, Nietes’ manager.

Nietes stakes his WBO light flyweight title against the highly touted Felipe Salguero in tonight’s main event of the Pinoy Pride 14: Night of Champions at the Resorts World’s Newport Art Theater.

“For champions, it’s not just about winning but its how you win fights,” said Aldeguer. “He has to make a statement against Salguero, he has to go for a knockout for him to impress the fans.”

Nietes (29-1-3, 16 KOs) has been unbeaten in his last 18 fights but was unimpressive in his last victory against Ramon Hirales Garcia in October last year.

“I felt the pressure that time. It was not easy fighting in front of my hometown fans,” said Nietes, who needed 12 rounds after fading late against Garcia.

The Mexican Salguero (16-2-1) is also on a tear of his own as he piled up 16 straight victories since absorbing two straight losses and a draw to start his pro career.

In yesterday’s weigh-in at the Robinson’s Galleria, the two protagonists were on the dot, both tipping the scales at 108 pounds for their 12-rounder.

Salguero flashed a cocky side during the weigh-in, making a slit-throat gesture right in the face of Nietes.

“I came here to knock him out. This will be a big battle and Nietes will be in for a big surprise,” said Salguero.

In the co-main event, Milan Milendo tries to defend his WBO international flyweight crown against Colombia’s Jesus Gelez.

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