GILBERTO Parra is just a stepping stone for Donnie Nietes.
A mandatory title defense is up next for the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight champion against world titlist Francisco Rodriguez of Mexico on July 4 in Cebu City.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said the bout is definitely not going to be a walk in the park for the 32-year-old pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental as Rodriguez was the same man who dealt Filipino Merlito Sabillo his first career loss to wrest the WBO minimumweight championship last year.
“We have to be ready for that. It’s a tough fight,” said Aldeguer. “He’s a former champion who’s going up in weight.”
Nietes made a successful defense of his 108-lbs. title on Saturday night with a ninth round technical knockout of Parra before a sizeable crowd at the Araneta Coliseum.
It was the sixth successful title defense for the longest reigning Filipino world champion, who has been very vocal about his desire to meet reigning world flyweight champion Juan Estrada.
“All along he’s been talking about Juan Estrada, and we already have initial discussions about it with Fernando Beltran (of Zanfer Promotions),” disclosed Aldeguer.
But first things first, Nietes (35-1-4, 21 KOs) needs to get past Rodriguez (17-2-1, 11 KOs).
“We need to study it and see what’s best for Donnie,” the son of legendary boxing impresario Tony Aldeguer said.