IN a rare show of bravado, Donnie Nietes made a slit throat gesture aimed at Mexican challenger Gilberto Parra shortly after both fighters tipped the scales in Friday’s official weigh-in for their World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight championship fight.
The long-reigning champion made the gesture just as the two protagonists were about to make the traditional stare down before fans at the green gate lobby of the Araneta Coliseum.
Cheers and yells were heard the moment Nietes, with title belts hanging around his arm, did the gesture while Parra gamely flexed his muscles before photographers and cameramen.
“Mayabang eh,” said Nietes of the proud challenger from Sonora, Mexico. “I-knockout natin.”
Both fighters made the weight at exactly 108-lbs., setting the stage for the main event of the 30th edition of the popular boxing series Pinoy Pride this Saturday at the Big Dome.
Parra, holder of an impressive 19-2 record with 17 KOs, earlier vowed to wrest the title from the pride of ALA boxing gym, showing he was hardly intimidated by Nietes’ unbeaten record against Mexican opponents.
“I came here to win. Everything has a beginning, “ he said in obvious reference to him becoming the first Mexican to inflict Nietes a loss.
Nietes, who holds the distinction as the longest reigning Filipino world champion, is unfazed by Parra’s declaration, believing the Mexican won't be able to stand his power just like his compatriots who had faced him in the ring.
“Go for knockout tayo,” said Nietes (34-1-4, 20 KOs), dressed in ALA boxing’s famed red and black jacket and track outfit with matching shades, as he made his way out of the coliseum together with his team led by trainers Edito and Edmond Villamor.
The pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental is making the sixth defense of the title he won against Mexican Ramon Garcia Hirales in 2011.
Also expected to share the limelight in the ‘D-Day’ boxing card presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports, is comebacking five-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr., who sees action in the main undercard as he takes son William Prado (22-4-1, 15 KOs) of Brazil in a 12-round super-bantamweight match.
This will be Donaire’s first fight since suffering a vicious sixth round technical knockout at the hands of Jamaican Nicholas Walters for the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-bantamweight championship last October.
“We see Prado as a dangerous opponent, but when it comes to fight, we will never backed down,” said ‘The Filipino Flash’ (33-3, 21 KOs), who insisted he’s not yet finished as a fighter even after losing two of his last four fights, including his first career setback via a knockout.
“it’s just a matter of coming back to earth and that we have to come back and take things step by step,” said Donaire.
“The moment I got up (against Walters), I was just thankful I wasn’t damaged.”