Donnie Nietes vacates WBO super flyweight title to pursue bigger fights
MANILA, Philippines—Boxing champion Donnie Nietes announced on Friday that he is vacating the WBO World super flyweight title to pursue bigger fights against the other champions of the division.
Nietes won the then vacant title against Japan’s Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s eve at Wynn Palace Cotai in Macau but the WBO ordered the Filipino in February to defend the belt against countryman Aston Palicte after their first match ended in a draw in September of 2018.
“After thinking hard about it for a long time, I have decided to vacate my WBO super flyweight belt, I feel in my heart that there is no point to do the rematch with Aston Palicte after the controversial draw,” said Nietes in a statement.
Nietes held the IBF World flyweight title before moving up to the 115-lb division to take a shot at the WBO strap that brought him face-to-face with Palicte.
Judge Max DeLuca scored the bout 114-114 while Daniel Sandoval gave Nietes the 118-110 nod only to be canceled out when Robert Hoyle saw the fight go in Palicte’s way at 116-112.
With Nietes vacating his title, he can choose to fight the other champions Khalid Yafai, who owns the WBA belt, and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who holds the WBC and Ring Magazine titles.
Nietes, though, will have to face fellow Filipino Jerwin Ancajas if he wants the IBF World super flyweight title.
“I hope to seek bigger fights with the World champions of the other organizations,” said Nietes. “It may or may not happen but I believe this is the right decision under this situation.”
Nietes also wished Palicte the best and for his former opponent to get a shot at another World title.
“I would want to give my fellow Filipino Aston Palicte a chance to fight for the World title to bring pride and glory to our country,” said Nietes. “Thank you for your support. Mabuhay ang Plilipinas.”