By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes has relinquished his WBO light flyweight title as he prepares to move up in weight to face former world champion Edgar Sosa in a flyweight bout at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California on September 24.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told The Standard that Nietes was keen on moving up in weight and facing bigger names at 112 pounds, beginning with Sosa.
At the same time he said "Nietes was finding it hard to make the 108 pound limit although he could and feels much more comfortable at 112 pounds."
Nietes's trainer Edmund Villamor said earlier that Donnie was around 120 to 125 pounds and it would be easier to trim down to 112 without too much trouble.
Nietes who has reigned as a two division champion for over eight years surpassed the record of the late junior lightweight champion Gabriel "Flash" Elorde who reigned as world junior lightweight champion for 7 years, 3 months and 10 days, at the start of this year.
One of the first acts of Nietes was to pay a courtesy call on Mrs. Laura Elorde in Manila and to thank her for the support of the Elorde family and telling her that the "Flash" was his hero and inspiration.
Laura Elorde told Nietes she was pleased that he was the boxer who surpassed the record of Elorde and commended Donnie as a worthy successor to the "Flash" as one of the all-time boxing greats from the Philippines.
Following his courtesy call, Nietes visited the tomb of Elorde at the Manila Memorial Park to pay his respects and say a prayer.