By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former WBO minimumweight champion Donnie Nietes has predicted that his right uppercut will help him score a knockout over WBO light flyweight champion Ramon "Principle" Garcia Hirales in their world title showdown at the University of St. La Salle gymnasium on Saturday.
Nietes spoke to the Manila boxing writers as he waited for Garcia who was 3/4 pounds over the 108 pound limit to make the weight at the official weigh-in supervised by WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo at the SM Event Center in Bacolod City. Nietes tipped the scales exactly at 108 pounds in his first try.
Nietes told boxingscene.com/philboxing.com/insidesports.ph that the southpaw Garcia's punches were not that strong but that his killer punch was a left hook to the liver.
Nietes said his plan is "to counter with an uppercut and an overhand right and knock him out."
The former world minimum weight champion who relinquished his title to move up in weight and challenge Garcia said "I beat three Mexicans in their hometown. What more now that the fight is being staged in my territory."
Nietes is from the municipality of Murcia which is some 16 kilometers from Bacolod City.
Nietes said he is "on hundred percent certain that he will win" even as he maintained there was no pressure on him because he was fighting before hometown fans. "I don't mind, I don't mind" and insisted he is "focused on winning. There is no pressure and nothing else that I am thinking of except victory."
He said his parents and the entire barangay where he grew up which is Granada would show up at the fight.
Nietes said the comments of trainer Freddie Roach that he is the best fighter next to pound for pound king Manny Pacquiao "boosted his confidence for the fight."
Nietes dislcosed that every time he defended his title n Mexico he would spend some time training at the Wild Card Gym and that there were times when Roach did the punch-mitts with him and watched him spar.