ONE is out for redemption, the other is out to extend his legacy.
In a rare, special fight card, reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight champion Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes shares the limelight with former four-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. in the 30th edition of the popular boxing series Pinoy Pride set on March 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Nietes will stake his 108-lbs title belt against Gilberto Parra of Mexico, while Donaire takes on William Prado of Brazil in his comeback fight in the super-bantamweight division.
This marks the first time the 32-year-old Nietes will be fighting since becoming the longest reigning Filipino world champion after surpassing the long-standing record of the late great Gabriel ‘Flash’ Elorde.
This likewise marks the first time the 32-year-old Donaire will be fighting since losing the World Boxing Association (WBA) super-featherweight title following a stunning sixth-round technical knockout at the hands of Jamaican Nicholas Walters.
But approximately three weeks from now, both Filipinos vow to win their respective bouts before their countrymen.
“I do believe that in this fight, you will see a much smarter, faster, intelligent, and most of all, a patient Nonito Donaire,” said the ‘Flipino Flash’ during the formal press conference for the fight card dubbed ‘D-Day: Donnie and Donaire’ at the Gloriamaris Restaurant inside the Gateway Mall.
“Gusto kong mabigyan ng magandang resulta ang laban na ito,” said Nietes (34-1, 20 KOs), who’s making the sixth defense of the title he won in 2011 following a unanimous decision win over Ramon Garcia Hirales.
“Sa akin, pag nakakita ng pagkakataon na maka-knockout, patutumbahin na natin."
Donaire said his loss to Walters – which marked the first time he lost by knockout – was a learning lesson for him.
“I learned a gullible lesson the previous fight. I learned the hard way. That last fight I learned patience is a virtue for my style,” said Donaire, holder of a 33-3 record, with 21 KOs.
Against Prado, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) super bantamweight contender, Donaire said he’ll definitely be a more intelligent fighter.
“Not so much cautious (about being knocked out). Just more smart, being patient and being smart. Going back to that is our key,” he added.
Michael Aldeguer, president of ALA Promotions which is putting up the fight card in partnership with ABS-CBN Sports, said putting Donaire and Nietes in one fight card is indeed, something to look forward to.
“This is really something special. We’ve been talking about this for years. It was complicated to make this fight happen, but to make this happen, we have to make it happen,” he said.
“When you put two of the top three fighters from the Philippines at present in one big event, it makes everything special.”