DONNIE ‘Ahas’ Nietes is set to leave for the U.S. Saturday for the second part of his training as he formally begins his foray in the flyweight division.
Nietes will be accompanied by trainers Edito and Edmund Villamor along with fellow fighters Mark Magsayo and Arthur Villanueva, who are fighting in the undercard of the former two-time world champion’s Sept. 24 match against Edgar Sosa of Mexico at the StabHub Center in Carson, California.
The ALA boxing contingent will stay in Los Angeles and train at the famed Wild Card gym of trainer Freddie Roach.
The 34-year-old native of Murcia, Negros Occidental is unfazed that he’ll be up against a dangerous opponent in Sosa, the former World Boxing Council (WBC) light-flyweight champ, in his first fight at the 112-lbs division.
“Ang importante yung paghahanda natin, yung training natin,” said Nietes in an impromptu press conference made for him by ALA Promotions and ABS CBN Sports prior to his U.S departure.
“Napanood ko rin na yung mga laban niya. Magaling din na boxer (siya),” he said of Sosa, 34.
During the same media presentation Thursday, Nietes also formally announced that he’s relinquishing his World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight crown which he held since 2011.
“Gusto ko pong i-prove sa lahat na marami pa akong magagawa as a fighter,” said Nietes of his decision to move up in weight and pursue a dream showdown with reigning WBO and World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight champ Juan Estrada of Mexico.
He said the move to go up at flyweight was also borne out of the fact that Nietes is having a hard time making the light-flyweight limit.
“Kaya pa naman, pero medyo hirap na rin. Dehydrated na ako sa 108,” said Nietes (38-1-4, 22 KOs) admitting he had problem making the weight during his last two fights against Juan Alejo and Raul Garcia.