By Ronnie Nathanielsz
WBO minimumweight champion Donnie "Ahas" Nietes of the famed ALA Gym is on the verge of a light flyweight title shot but first he must win impressively against Mexico’s Armando Vazquez at the La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City on Saturday.
Nietes has decided to move up to light flyweight and go after the title which will reportedly soon be relinquished by champion Giovanni Segura who scored a 3rd round TKO over Puerto Rican veteran Ivan Calderon on Saturday.
Should Nietes win big and Segura gives up the title because of trouble making the weight then Nietes is expected to face Ramon Garcia Hirales for the vacant title.
WBO Asia Pacific vice president Leon Panoncillo told the Inquirer that ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer had reportedly made arrangements with WBO President Francisco “Paco” Valcarcel during a recent meeting in Las Vegas for Nietes “to move up and challenge for the 108 pound title.”
Panoncillo said that “if the plan of Segura is to move up in weight and vacates that division it will surely open doors for Nietes sooner than we think.”
Nietes headlines “Pinoy Pride 5” in the continuing series staged by ALA Promotions in cooperation with ABS-CBN which will telecast the fights on Sunday.
The 28 old Nietes who has a record of 27-1-3 with 15 knockouts has so far defended his minimum weight title successfully three times in the hometowns of his Mexican challengers. In his last fight on August 14, 2010, Nietes scored a comfortable twelve round decision over Mario Rodriguez in Sinaloa, Mexico.
His opponent Armando Vazquez has a record of 18-5 with 4 knockouts and has scored back-to-back wins after losing three fights in a row.
Vazquez won by 3rd round TKO over Horacio Sanchez on February 25 this year after scoring a unanimous six round decision over Pablo Cruz Ortega on November 12 last year.
Prior to that Vazquez lost by a 7th round knockout to undefeated Manuel Jimenez in a WBO eliminator on January 1, 2010, then lost by a 1st round knockout in a North American Boxing Federation minimum weight title fight to tough Juan Hernandez on February 27, 2010 before suffering a 4th round TKO at the hands of Felipe Rivas in a clash for the vacant FECOMBOX light flyweight title on August 14, 2010.
One of the most underestimated world champions because of the exploits of pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and WBC/WBO bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, Nietes is the longest reigning Filipino world champion and is aiming to surpass the record of the late, great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde who reigned as world junior lightweight champion for almost seven-and-a-half years.