THREE-time world champion Donnie Nietes left for the U.S. on Saturday where he resumes his training camp a month before he faces compatriot Aston Palicte for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) super-flyweight title.
Nietes was accompanied by trainer Edmund Villamor as they set-up camp once more at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, California, where they initially trained for almost a month before returning to the country last June.
Lead trainer Edito Villamor will join them in California two weeks before the 12-round fight which serves as the co-featured match of the highly-popular ‘Superfly 3’ series headlined by the Juan Francisco Estrada-Felipe Orucata showdown at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Sept. 8
“Maganda ang takbo ng training niya and preparado talaga siya as always,” Edito Villamor said in a correspondence with SPIN.ph from Cebu.
The second world title fight involving two Filipinos this year – after the Jerwin-Ancajas-Jonas Sultan International Boxing Federation super-flyweight clash in May – was originally scheduled for August 18 in Cebu City, but was made part of the ‘Superfly 3’ at the last-minute.
Edito said the change in the fight date hardly affected the training of the 36-year-old Nietes, who hails from Murcia, Negros Occidental and considered the star fighter of Cebu-based ALA boxing stable.
The three-week postponement, according to Edito, was actually to the benefit of Nietes, who formerly held titles at minimumweight, junior flyweight, and flyweight, and is moving up at super-flyweight for the first time.
“Walang problema (sa postponement),” he said. “Mas maganda rin kay Donnie at maka-adjust pa siya lalo ng husto.
“Tamang-tama rin siya sa 115 lbs.”
Nietes (41-1-4, 23 KOs) successfully retained his IBF flyweight crown last February after scoring a seventh-round TKO against Juan Carlos Reveo in the ‘Superfly Series’ 2 also at The Forum. He relinquished his title shortly after to move up in the ultra-competitive 115-lbs division.
The 27-year-old Palicte, a former national team member, has a record of 24-2 with 20 KOS, including three of his last four fights.