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Nietes may lose belt if he refuses Palicte bout

/ 05:03 AM February 11, 2019

Aston Palicte’s camp won’t force a fight against Donnie Nietes but the rising star is bent on winning a world title the soonest possible time.

Jason Soong, manager of the 28-year-old Palicte, said if and when Nietes’ camp refuse to come to the table and hold a rematch, his protégé will have to face highest-ranked World Boxing Organization (WBO) challenger available.

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But that would mean Nietes must vacate the junior bantamweight title.

“As much as we don’t want to fight another Filipino, I owe it to Aston to give him another world title shot,” Soong told the Inquirer.

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Legendary champion Roy Jones Jr., who now promotes Palicte internationally, is also pushing for a world title fight for the Bago City native.

The WBO recently mandated both camps of Nietes and Palicte to arrange a rematch for the title. They have until next week to come to an agreement that would mean a minimum purse of $100,000 for both.

But Nietes’ camp has yet to respond to the call out by Palicte’s camp.

The 36-year-old Nietes is the longest reigning Filipino champion but his domain is largely confined within Asia.

He fought Palicte to a split draw last September in California.

The four-time champion then announced he would like to get big fights against certified crowd drawers of the division like Juan Francisco Estrada and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

Instead, he fought Kazuto Ioka of Japan on New Year’s Eve, in an uneventful bout that also ended in split draw.

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About the same time, Palicte scored a second-round knockout win over Jose Martinez which warranted a possible crack at the title.

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