PH’s Nietes shoots for historic stardom
There’ll be fireworks of the classy and noble kind. Donnie Nietes, listed as lone Filipino to have reigned longest as a world boxing champion, clashes with Japan’s Kazuto Ioka for the WBO super flyweight championship at Wynn Palace in Macau on New Year’s Eve.
The bout has been billed “a gem in the New Year’s Eve tradition.”
The records: Nietes, 41-1-5, 23 KOs; Ioka, 23-1, 13 KOs.
Call it a belated recognition of his masterful and dominant performance in California that was dubiously declared a draw in September.
Dong Secuya, founder and chief editor of Philboxing.com, calls the fight a defining moment that should catapult Nietes to long overdue full stardom.
Nietes, 36, winner of three world division crowns—105, 108, 112—has been respected, but is not wholly admired.
“He’s a legend—but not a star,” said Secuya. “Humble and very respectful, his highly technical style and passive counterpunching were blamed for his lack of star power.”
Nietes is listed among Ring Magazine’s top ten pound-for-pound fighters, together with Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford.
He’s aiming to be a four-division world title winner, together with Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire Jr.
The younger and rugged Ioka, evidently the harder puncher, can only be expected to go for a stoppage.
Nietes, backed by a great well-rounded preparation, should be able to blaze his way and go for his own knockout.
“I’ve tremendous respect for Nietes; he’s very smart and truly talented,” said Ioka.
There promises to be a fierce and colorful contest, a New Year’s Eve thriller.
ABS-CBN has announced there’ll be a live coverage of the event.
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