MANILA, Philippines -- Donnie Nietes wants nothing else but to step out of the huge shadow of Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.
He takes his first step on April 9 when he slugs it out with Alejandro Vasquez of Mexico in a non-title fight at La Salle Bacolod.
In the fight that will serve as mainer in the card dubbed as Pinoy Pride 5: Battle of Champions, Nietes will campaign in the light flyweight division (108 lbs) for the first time.
?I hope people will support me in this fight, I want to expand my horizon and take my talent to the next level,? said the 28-year-old Nietes, who held the WBO minimumweight (105 lbs) crown for four years.
Nietes appeared as guest during the PSA Forum at the Shakey's UN Ave. on Tuesday saying he would like to follow the trail blazed by Pacquiao and currently being taken by Donaire.
If he wins against Vasquez, he would line himself against the winner between Jesus Gelez and Ramon Garcia for the WBO light fly belt. Gelez and Garcia clash on April 30, and Nietes will get his crack at the winner by July, according to his handler Michael Aldeguer.
Nietes has compiled 27 wins, 15 by way of knockouts, one loss and three draws while Vasquez boasts 18 wins (four KOs) and five losses.
Fighting in the undercard are Jason Pagara, who takes on African Deo Njiku for the WBO Youth As-Pac junior welterweight crown and Lorenzo Villanueva who locks horns with another African, Ramadhani Shauri for the WBO Oriental featherweight title.
Roli Gasca and Thai Ngaotawan Sithsaithong collide in the bantamweight special attraction, while Arthur Villanueva and Mark Anthony Geraldo clash in super flyweight bout.