by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Unable to get decent sparring in the United States, WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes is returning back him to the Philippines and will continue training for his mandatory rematch with Moises Fuentes on May 10.
ALA Promotions patron Tony Aldeguer told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that Nietes, who is the longest reigning champion with a record of 32-1-4 with 18 knockouts and was in intense training for his title defense, was forced to return home because he couldn’t get the right kind of sparring and also because he wanted to attend the Annual “Flash” Elorde Banquet of Champions on March 25 where he is one of the major awardees.
Trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor said that after two weeks of sparring in San Diego and excellent work done by strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson, both Nietes and WBO minimumweight champion Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo are in fine shape.
Sabillo, the devastating southpaw puncher will defend his title against Mexico’s No. 9 ranked Francisco Rodriguez who has a record of 13-2 with 9 knockouts on March 22 in Monterrey, Mexico.
Villamor has said that Sabillo is well prepared for his third title defense and is in great shape. He is punching really hard and is showing hand-speed.”
The trainer who will accompany Sabillo to Mexico said the minimumweight champion has shown great improvement since he retained his title with a split draw against top-rated Carlos Buitrago of Nicaragua at the famed Araneta Coliseum last November 30..