FILIPINO fighters are fast turning the super-flyweight division into their domain.
Former three division world champion Donnie Nietes is the latest to join the bandwagon.
On Wednesday, the star fighter of Cebu-based ALA Promotions announced that he’s relinquishing his International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight belt to move up to super-flyweight and face the current stars of the division that include countryman Jerwin Ancajas, World Boxing Council (WBC) title holder Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, former world champions Juan Franciso Estrada and Roman Gonzalez – the one-time pound-for-pound fighter in the world – among others.
“Today, I have made my decision to move up to 115 and vacate my IBF flyweight world title, this is the challenge I have been waiting for,” said the 35-year-old pride of Bacolod City in a prepared statement he read at the St. Mark’s Hotel in Cebu City.
“To go up in weight is never easy but this is my dream to become a fourth division world champion and to fight all the big names at super flyweight.”
The decision came just less than two months after Nietes successfully retained his IBF title with a TKO win over mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina last Feb. 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California
Promoter Michael Aldeguer lost no time disclosing his plans to have Nietes fight some of the biggest names in the division, especially at this late stage of his career.
"Donnie Nietes will fight for the vacant WBO vacant world super flyweight title soon. We are looking forward to making the biggest fights for Donnie in the next couple of years.”
Naoya Inoue vacated the belt last month as the 25-year-old champion from Japan also decided to move up in weight.
Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) is rated no. 1 super flyweight by the IBF.