DONNIE 'Ahas’ Nietes fired one stern warning after challenger Moises Fuentes vowed to bring with him to Mexico the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight title belt.
“Hindi ako papayag na i-uwi niya 'yung korona ko. Magkaka-patayan muna kami,” said the champion on Thursday.
That, more or less, set the tone for the rematch between two of the best fighters in the 108-lb. division today as Nietes and Fuentes tangle once more in a 12-round fight set on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
A year after their first meeting ended in a controversial majority draw at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu, the 24-year-old Mexican confidently said during Thursday’s press conference at the Bayview Hotel that he now has what it takes to end the Filipino’s six-year reign as world champion.
Fuentes admitted he fought like a child during his first fight against Nietes and trained only 50 percent for the bout despite accusing the Filipino of doing nothing but to "run away and not behave like a champion."
“Everything I will do to win. I have the hunger of a champion and I believe Donnie has none,” he said, before adding, “I will demonstrate on the ring what I can do. I came here to win. I don’t know how it will be, but the title is going to Mexico.”
That prompted Nietes to reply that Fuentes will have to do it over his dead body.
“Excited na excited na akong makipag-suntukan sa kanya,” the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental snapped back, drawing laughter from the crowd that included ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer, ABS-CBN executive Peter Musngi, and Mexican boxing great Marco Antonio Barrera, who came over as part of Fuentes’ camp.
“It’s going to be a good fight. Both are strong fighters,” said Barrera, a three-division world champion. “We respect Donnie Nietes, he may be the best flyweight today, but I’m sure, Moises is coming to win the fight.”
The title rematch headlines the 25th edition of Pinoy Pride presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports. It also features former world title challenger Milan Melindo going up against Mexican Martin `Diablo’ Tecuapetla, and comebacking Rey `Boom Boom’ Bautista opposite Sergio Villanueva also of Mexico.
Melindo (30-1, with 12 KOs) even got a piece of the limelight after saying he’s going to beat Tecuapetla, since his "boxing skills are in the same level as Floyd Mayweather Jr."
Nietes carries an impressive record of 32 wins and a single loss, including 18 by KOs, and is coming off a remarkable third-round technical knockout of another Mexican Sammy Gutierrez in his last title defense in November of 2013.
Fuentes meanwhile, has a ring record of 19-1-1, with 10 KOs.
Official weigh-in for the fight will be held Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena.