KOMGRICH Nantapech is convinced he could do to Donnie ‘Ahas’ Nietes what countryman Srisaket Sor Rungvisai had just done against the fearsome Roman Gonzales.
The 27-year-old Thai expressed confidence about stunning Nietes for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight championship at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel two weeks from now.
Nantapech (22-3, with 15 KOs) knows he’s considered the underdog in his April 29 bout against a fighter who has made a record as the longest reigning Filipino world champion.
But everything is possible. Just like what Srisaket did against Gonzales, considered one of the top fighters in the world today, pound-for-pound, when he scored a surprise majority decision last month to dethrone the erstwhile unbeaten Nicaraguan as World Boxing Council (WBC) super-flyweight champ.
“It was great to see Srisaket beat Roman Gonzales. It made me feel proud,” said Nantapech, ranked no. 4 by the IBF.
“It was definitely a big upset, and I believe it was a great win for boxing in Thailand.”
He hopes to add to that feeling in his first attempt at a world title.
Nantapech has won his last 15 fights since 2013, although two of his career losses came at the expense of Filipino warriors – against Froilan Saludar four years ago (unanimous decision) and a knockout loss against Albert Pagara ( a fellow ALA boxing stablemate of Nietes) in 2012.
But the Thai said he has Nietes all covered up.
“My team and I have been studying Nietes’ tapes, so I know this will be an exciting fight,” he said. “I see Nietes as a very good boxer and a tough opponent, but I always come to win.”
Nietes, 34, is gunning for his third world division title and has not lost since absorbing a split decision at the hands of Angky Angkota in September of 2004.
The star fighter of ALA boxing is currently ranked no. 3 by the IBF and last fought seven months ago when he decision Edgar Sosa at the StubHub Center in Carson, California in his first fight as a flyweight.