Donnie Nietes long ago declared that he would only entertain big fights for the balance of his career.
That journey now includes one of the most powerful entities in the sport.
The former four-division titlist from Bacolod City, Philippines has inked a deal with massive managerial conglomerate MTK Global and D4G Promotions, the companies announced in a joint statement on Friday. Nietes' signing comes on heels of countryman and current junior featherweight contender Albert Pagara working with both parties as well.
"I am very happy with this new step in my career," noted Nietes (42-1-5, 23KOs). "It means so much to me. Being a part of this team is brilliant and I am very grateful."
Nietes has previously held titles at strawweight, junior flyweight and flyweight. He serves alongside fellow Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao as the only two males boxers from the Philippines to capture major titles in four or more divisions. Pacquiao has won lineal championships and alphabet titles in eight divisions, more than any other boxer—male or female—in the history of the sport.
With the announcement will hopefully come in the near future an end to his current inactive stretch. Nietes has not fought since New Year's Eve 2018. The win served as a significant entry in an already historic career, becoming a four-division titlist after outpointing Kazuto Ioka to claim a junior bantamweight title.
The reign was short-lived, vacating the strap rather than enter a rematch with countryman Aston Palicte, with whom he fought to a draw in their September 2018 vacant 115-pound title fight. The decision to relinquish the title came with the desire to instead challenge the most lucrative opportunities, which are aplenty in the talent-laden junior bantamweight division.
In Nietes' sights are massive showdowns with the "Big 3" of the 115-pound division—lineal champion Juan Francisco Estrada, four-division and reigning titlist Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, and former lineal champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
"I'm happy with what I've achieved so far," insists Nietes, who even at 38 believes there is more left to accomplish. "The journey has been wonderful and I will forever cherish how I worked hard in building my successful career.
"I'm not done yet and I am now hoping to get a fight with Estrada, Rungvisai and Chocolatito. I want to be back as soon as possible. Whether it be December or January. I am currently preparing already and I am pleased to be going back in the ring after two years. I will bring pride to MTK Global, D4G Promotions and my country Philippines."
With the announcement came the note of his next fight being revealed in the near future.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox