DONNIE `Ahas’ Nietes waited for this moment for over a year. And now that it has finally arrived, the reigning world light-flyweight champion is raring not to let the opportunity slip away again.
The 31-year-old pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental puts his World Boxing Organization (WBO) belt on the line Saturday night when he faces Moises Fuentes of Mexico in a 12-round title rematch at the Mall of Asia Arena serving as the main event of `Pinoy Pride 25.’
Nietes escaped with a controversial majority decision at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu last year in a fight where Fuentes claimed Nietes was on the run in order just to survive.
But the champion disputed the allegations of the challenger, and said their return bout should serve as a perfect chance for him to show he’s the better fighter.
“I’m ready to go 12 rounds. Kung makakita ng knockout, kunin din natin,” said Nietes (32-1, 18 KOs) as he partook a serving of porridge, banana, and a bottle of energy drink shortly after Friday’s official weigh-in at the MOA Arena.
Both Nietes and Fuentes came at exactly 108 lbs., although the challenger from Mexico City had to be weighed in twice as the scale was adjusted.
“Akala ko pa nga under (weight) ako,” said Nietes, who expects to enter the ring at around 117 to 118 lbs.
The loss to the Filipino was the first career setback as a pro for Fuentes, 28, whose members of the camp included the great boxing champion Marco Antonio Barrera and his father and brother, Jorge Sr. and Jorge Jr.
But Fuentes (19-1-1, 10 KOs) admitted that had he trained 100 percent during his first meeting with the Filipino, there was no doubt he’s going to beat Nietes.
He made sure it won’t happen again this time as he focused seriously on his training and won’t be leaving the country without the title belt in tow.
“I came here to win,” he said.
The fight card presented by ALA promotions and ABS-CBN Sports will have no less than former three-time world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. serving as analyst during the Nietes-Fuentes match.
Third man on the ring will be Robert Byrd, while the three judges scoring the bout are Robert Hoyle, Waleska Roldan, and Fernando Laguna.
Seeing action as part of the main undercards are former world title challenger Milan Melindo and the comebacking Rey `Boom Boom’ Bautista.
Melindo will be up against Martin Tecuapetla also of Mexico, while Bautista faces another Mexican in Sergio Villanueva.
Both Melindo and Tecuapetla came in at exactly 111 lbs., while Bautista and Villanueva tipped in at 130 lbs. each.