NOW Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes is in the company of ‘Rocky,’ the ‘Golden Boy,’ the ‘Flash,' and the ‘Pacman.’
The longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion had a life-sized statue built in his honor in his hometown Murcia, Negros Occidental last Wednesday.
The 34-year-old Nietes himself was at hand to lead the ribbon-cutting during the unveiling ceremony at the Municipal Plaza of Murcia.
The project was the brainchild of Mayor Andrew Montelibano and the municipal council of Murcia in recognition of the distinct honor Nietes has brought to the first-class municipality.
The statue shows a triumphant Nietes raising both his arms, similar to the bronze sculptures of the fictional Rocky Balboa character in Philadelphia, Oscar De La Hoya at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Flash Elorde in Bogo, Cebu, and Manny Pacquiao at the Mall of Asia.
The reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight champion was joined during the program by Mayor Montelibano, sports coordinator Elro Villarosa, Donnie’s father Josue Nietes, ABC president Anton Gonzaga, and SB members Norberto delos Reyes, Jagie Gravino, Belen Magbanua, and Bebot Gomez.
Nietes is set for a September 24 defense of his WBO title at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
The bout is a mandatory defense for Nietes against challenger Moises Fuentes, although ALA boxing president and CEO Michael Aldeguer is trying to arrange a thrilling showdown between the Filipino and WBO flyweight king Juan Francisco Estrada.
Nietes has a career record of 38-1-4, with 22 KOs. He is fresh from a fifth-round technical knockout win over Raul Garcia of Mexico to retain his 108-lbs. title two months ago at the La Salle Coliseum gym in Bacolod.