By Edward Chaykovsky
Donnie "Ahas" Nietes has targeted the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight title that was recently vacated by his compatriot Johnriel Casimero, who is going up to super flyweight to pursue big opportunities against fighters like Roman "Chocolatito" Gonzalez.
Nietes himself recently vacated his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior flyweight title to move up in weight for bigger opportunities. Nietes and Thai boxer Eaktawan Krungthepthonburi (22-3, 15 KOs) are the two highest ranked IBF contenders and there is now talk that the two of them will collide for the IBF belt on a date in March or April at a still to be determined location.
“That’s a wonderful opportunity for me. I can fight now in a world title without going for any tune-up bout,” Nietes told The Manila Times. "“This is also a big blessing because I really wanted to have a world title fight next year. I’ll be facing a Thai IBF rated fighter maybe in March or April. I’m very excited to prepare. So far, I’m doing some light training routines to keep my body fit especially this holidays. I want to capture my third world title,” he added.
Nietes (39-1-4, 22 KOs) was hoping to get a big money for with reigning WBO flyweight champion Zou Shiming of Japan.
Shiming (9-1, 2 KOs), a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and trained by Hall of Fame coach Freddie Roach, is the biggest money fight in the lower weight divisions. Shiming's promoter, Top Rank, has matched him very carefully and may not want to risk him just yet against a fighter of Nietes' caliber.
“I don’t need to wait for Zou’s decision if he’ll fight me even though I’m the mandatory challenger of the WBO. But if I get lucky in my IBF bout, I challenge him for a unification bout also next year,” said Nietes.