Can Nietes be ready vs Chocolatito?
THAT was great of Filipino boxing hero Donnie Nietes calling out reigning world pound-for-pound king Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua last week.
Nietes hurled the challenge after a successful eighth defense of his WBO light flyweight crown in Carson, California. The unbeaten Gonzalez, at around the same time, was in New York where he stopped Fil-Am Brian Viloria for his 44th career victory.
Handlers of Nietes, led by ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer, said they were exploring ways for formal negotiations with the Gonzalez camp.
* * *
As could only be expected, the Nietes challenge readily drew excited reaction here at home.
Nietes, after all, is considered the hottest Filipino world crown-holder among our fighters today.
Of course, he will have to step out of his 108-pound comfort zone and move up to full flyweight (112 lb) to validate his challenge.
Nietes, by the way, spearheaded the brilliant wins by all Filipino fighters in Pinoy Pride 33, the successful inaugural presentation by ALA Promotions in the USA.
* * *
It’s indeed a valid challenge from Nietes, who must be feeling he has the necessary hardware and experience to upset Gonzalez, 44-0, 38 KOs.
In fact, Nietes had himself helped prepare Viloria for his gutsy and dignified stand against the regal, sweet-punching Gonzalez through sparring sessions at the Wild Card Gym in California.
By the way, the initial side-street reaction to the Nietes dare against Gonzalez sounded something like: “Why not?”
* * *
Of course, majority of those who initially favored a Nietes fight against Gonzalez had failed to watch how the classy Nicaraguan punching machine called Chocolatito methodically dismantled the tough Viloria, a two-division world champion.
Truth is that a full day after Nietes drew excited reaction for his dare against Gonzalez, many of those who would later witness how Viloria had been vanquished at the Madison Square Garden also started having second thoughts.
There were in fact suggestions Nietes should at least try one big bout at 112 lb before fully pursuing his challenge to Gonzalez.
Others suggested Nietes should also try and compare notes with Viloria himself.
* * *
Viloria did try to protest after the the referee jumped in to stop his bout against the elegant and dominant Gonzalez in the ninth round.
Viloria, obviously in queer street, also suggested a rematch.
But once the smoke of the one-sided battle had cleared, Viloria would humbly admit that Gonzalez was an unreachable star.
There indeed could be great harm trying.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.