By Ronnie Nathanielsz
World Boxing Federation light flyweight champion Felipe Salguero of Mexico who has a record of 16-2-1 with 11 knockouts says he plans to win by knockout over defending WBO champion Donnie Nietes of the famed ALA Gym in their clash at the Resorts World Hotel & Casino on June 2.
The world title fight will headline the highly successful “Pinoy Pride” series which is a joint effort of ALA Promotions and the giant broadcast network ABS-CBN.
In an interview with Cebu-based Mexican Mike Lopez who always acts as one of the cornermen when Hispanic fighters see action and helps translate what they say, spoke to Salguero who said “I have to win by knockout, which is our plan.”
The opponent of Nietes said he had no fears about fighting in the Philippines and wasn’t worried about a possible hometown decision. In answer to a question from Lopez on whether he felt the judges would favor Nietes, Salguero replied, “No, the judges will be fair; I just want to give a clear decision on the outcome of this fight and not like the Nietes and Principe Garcia fight which was very close and many believed Principe Garcia won.”
Contrary to Salguero’s claims, two of the three judges, Carlos Ortiz Jr (117-111) and Lisa Giampa (118-110) scored the fight by a wide margin for Nietes while Filipino judge Atty. Danrex Tapdasan had Nietes winning by a 115-113 margin which reinforced the contention that Filipino judges are fair.
The Mexican challenger said he has “always been training, knowing a big fight will come. I am ready and I will end my sparring this week before I head to the Philippines this Saturday (Sunday morning Philippine Time). “
Salguero told Lopez he had watched videos of Nietes and actually saw the fight live when he fought Mario “Dragoncito” Rodriquez in Mexico on August 14, 2010 in a fight Nietes won handily. Salguero Said “it was a good fight and we know the style of Nietes” adding that his trainer Pedro Mora “has come out with a plan to defeat Nietes.”
The Mexican said the present hot and humid conditions in Manila will be no problem even as he said he is “very excited to get an opportunity to fight for a World Championship. I heard that the Philippines is a very beautiful country and I come to win even I am so far from Mexico.”
He said fighting outside Mexico for the first time “will give me more incentive in my heart and soul to show the whole world that I can come to the Philippines and win. “
Salguero said he doesn’t expect the long flight to affect him, pointing out “I am in good shape and I can adjust to any situation. I can relax on the plane and my body and mind will be fresh. This is for a World Title and that brings out the best of you. It makes you dig down to bring out the best that you have trained for. I will be Ok. “