DONNIE 'Ahas' Nietes is leaving nothing to chance in his rematch against Moises Fuentes for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight title on May 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The reigning champion is aware the majority 12-round draw he eked out in his first meeting with the Mexican a year ago at the Waterfront Hotel and Resort in Cebu left a bad taste in the mouth, so much so that he vows to go for a knockout if given the chance.
“Ina-knockout ko siya pag may time,” said the two-time world champion during Tuesday’s session of the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate. “Pag may chance, patutumbahin ko siya.”
Proof that he’s preparing hard against the 28-year-old challenger from Mexico City, Nietes spent the early part of his training in the US where he sparred with the likes of former world champion Giovanni Segura and American Matthew Villanueva.
Now back in the country, the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental will complete the second part of his training in Cebu.
“Grabe ang paghahandang ginagawa namin ngayon, kaya kumpiyansa akong mapapanatili ko ang korona,” said Nietes (32-1-4, 18 KOs) who will be turning 32 three days after the fight.
But ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete, who was also a guest in the forum presented by Shakey’s, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, was quick to add the mandatory title defense of Nietes won’t be easy.
“Every rematch is dangerous,” Canete admitted. “Siyempre, na-gauge ka na nung opponent mo and Moises Fuentes is a great fighter. So it’s going to be tough.”
A former WBO minimumweight title holder who fought and won against the likes of Ivan Calderon and Raul Garcia, Fuentes (19-1-1, 10 KOs) is a on a three-fight winning streak since facing Nietes, including technical knockout victories in his last two matches against Luis Dela Rosa and Omar Salado.
Nietes, on the other hand, is fresh from a sensational third round technical knockout of Sammy Gutierrez last November at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
At the same time, the heartbreaking 10th round loss suffered by stablemate Merlito Sabillo to Francisco Rodriguez of Mexico to yield his WBO 105-lbs. crown over the weekend, also serves as added motivation for Nietes.
“Hindi naman tayo pressured dahil natalo siya (Sabillo), pero gagawin ko talaga ang lahat para ma-depensahan ko `yung korona,” he said.
Canete added, “ siyempre gusto rin naming mangyari kay Fuentes yun dito (Sabillo knockout).”