By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The longest reigning Filipino world champion, WBO light flyweight king Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, has “no problem” with the postponement by one week to July 11 of his title defense against mandatory challenger Francisco Rodriguez who suffered a reported minor ankle injury in training.
The trainer of Nietes, Edmund Villamor told the New Standard/BoxingScene.com that Nietes’ “training is continuing and there’s no problem with the one week postponement.”
At the same time he said Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo who battles Mexican slugger Rafael Reyes has been sparring with five division world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire and their sessions have been good.
Villamor added, the sparring “has been tough and Nonito looks good.”
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told the New Standard/BoxingScene that the handlers of Rodriguez headed by Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran had informed him of the injury to Rodriguez and submitted a medical certificate while seeking the postponement.
Aldeguer disclosed he had received confirmation from Zanfer Promotions on the July 11 date and said “it was a minor injury suffered by Rodriguez.
The fight will take place at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu on the new date which is unlikely to make a difference to Nietes who has been training since April and looked in terrific condition when Viva Sports watched him spar at the ALA Gym in Balete Drive, Quezon City last week.
The 33 year old Nietes has made it clear he would like to shut the mouth of the cocky Rodriguez and avenge the loss of his close friend Merlito “Tiger” Sabillo who lost the minimum weight title to Rodriguez by a 10th round TKO on March 22, 2014.
Prior to his arrival in the Philippines, Donaire was training in Las Vegas in preparation for his ten round non-title fight against European champion Anthony Settoul of France on July 18 in Macau and told us he is taking no chances and is eager to put on a show as he looks forward to a possible title fight .