DONNIE Nietes, the World Boxing Organization (WBO) light-flyweight champion from the Philippines, will definitely have his hands full in his coming rematch with Moises Fuentes of Mexico.
The 24-year-old Fuentes arrived in the country last week to face Nietes in the main bout of the Pinoy Pride 25 fight card on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fuentes said he has settled in and is not at all bothered by the intense heat because it’s “almost similar” to the summer weather back home.
“It doesn’t matter. I came to fight,” he said through a Spanish interpreter.
It will be a rematch of their controversial bout that ended in a draw at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu in March last year.
“That draw was (meant) to protect Donnie Nietes and I can’t do anything,” the Mexican said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Shakey’s Malate on Tuesday.
Fuentes, the reigning WBO minimum-weight champion, did not commit himself to scoring a knockout but said the rematch will provide all the answers.
“I trust myself. I’m well prepared and there’s nothing more to do. It will be a very clear fight (win). I will do what I know to do. I will make every punch hurt,” he said in the same session presented by Shakey’s, Accel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).
Fuentes came with his trainer, Jorge Barrera, and his stablemates Martin Tecuapetla who goes up against Milan Melindo, and Sergio Villanueva, who will fight the comebacking Rey 'Boom-Boom' Bautista, along with trainer Sergio Villanueva.
Tecuapetla and Melindo will dispute the WBO International flyweight title.
Dennis Canete, vice president of the ALA Boxing Promotions, said the 31-year-old Nietes has trained very hard for this fight because another victory will push him closer to history.
Canete said if Nietes remains a world champion until December 31 this year, he will surpass the record of the great Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde as the longest reigning Filipino world champion (seven years and three months).
“But we see that Fuentes is also very serious,” said Canete, who added that Robert Byrd is set to fly in to be the third man on the ring on Saturday.
“We came to make war,” said Barrera, brother of the great Mexican boxer Marco Antonio Barrera, who’s also arriving in the country to watch the fight at ringside.
“We hope the people of the Philippines will respect the decision of the judges,” said Barrera.
Nietes has aired confidence of retaining the title before his countrymen.
“This time there will be no draw,” he said weeks ago.