Nietes-Gonzalez bout possible
CARSON, California—A mouth-watering clash between No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua and World Boxing Organization light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes may take place soon.
Michael Aldeguer, president and CEO of Cebu-based ALA Promotions, revealed this Thursday during the final press conference for “Pinoy Pride 33: Philippines vs The World,” slated Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at Stubhub Center here.
Aldeguer confirmed to the Inquirer that they have conducted initial talks with Gonzalez and his team.
“They want the fight and Nietes wants the fight and we want the fight,” said Aldeguer during the media event at Community Hall of Carson Civic Center.
“But we are not thinking about that fight right now. Nietes will be facing (Juan) Alejo this Saturday. You’ll never know the outcome and Alejo has nothing to lose.”
Aldeguer said both Gonzalez and Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion, should first hurdle their opponents before negotiations for their own bout can resume.
Gonzalez (43-0-0, 37 KO) will defend his World Boxing Council flyweight title against Filipino-American Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It will be held simultaneously with Nietes’ (36-1-4, 21 KO’s) WBO title defense fight against the Mexican Alejo.
Joining Nietes on fight night are the unbeaten Albert Pagara (24-0, 17KOs), who will battle Nicaraguan knockout artist William Gonzales (25-5, 23 KOs) for the WBO international junior featherweight title; Mark Magsayo (11-0, 9KOs), who will defend his IBF Youth feather title against Mexican Yardley Suarez (13-0, 8KOs); and Jason Pagara (36-2, 22KOs), who will test Nicaraguan Santos Benavides (25-7-2, 19KOs) in a junior welterweight encounter.
Aldeguer said Gonzalez’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, and a representative from American cable network HBO initiated preliminary talks for a possible Gonzalez-Nietes showdown.
Meanwhile, veteran American boxing ring announcer Jimmy Lennon, Jr. has been tapped to introduce the main fights of “Pinoy Pride 33.”
“Jimmy Lennon, Jr. will announce the fights,” said Aldeguer. “He may also make it for the weigh-in tomorrow (Saturday in Manila).”
Lennon has been the major announcer in some of the biggest fights in boxing history, including the Manny Pacqiuao versus Floyd Mayweather blockbuster bout last May in Las Vegas.
Aldeguer said he expects the “Pinoy Pride” series, which had a previous stop in Dubai, to gain more following in the United States.
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