By Tomi Pradarics
Exactly one week prior to the big PPV event headlined by Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, another important card was broadcasted on HBO featuring elite 115 pounders.
Part of the actions on ‘SuperFly 3’ featured former three-division world champion Donnie Nietes against young contender Aston Palicte in a bout for the vacant WBO belt at super flyweight.
The participants engaged in a largely tactical matchup where the shorter and smaller Nietes (41-1-5, 23 KOs) used footwork, rhythm, and accuracy to be successful over his tall, lanky counterpart, who, instead, tried his best to make the contact between the two more physical.
Though many of the ringside pundits and journalists saw Nietes done well enough to secure a world title in his fourth division, including the whole HBO crew leading by respected long-time scorer Harold Lederman, the official verdict turned to be a draw after only Daniel Sandoval picked the 36-year-old Filipino fighter as the victor by 118-110. The two other judges, Max DeLuca and Robert Hoyle had it 114-114 even, and 116-112 to Palicte.
“We are very disappointed with the two judges. We won but [also have] a broken heart. They did not understand the sacrifice of a fighter during the training camp,” stated Edito Villamor, Nietes’s trainer to BoxingScene.com, before turning his attention to the positive side of the experience.
“Donnie’s debut at 115 [was successful with a] great performance. He fought Palicte executing the perfect game plan and [was in] perfect condition.”
Villamor also shared his opinion on the fellow Filipino Palicte (24-2-1, 20 KOs), when he said “Aston is good but not a great fighter like Donnie. He has some potential.”
The thought of a rematch as Donnie’s next step got quickly demolished by the trainer, as he believes there is no unfinished business with Palicte.
“[There is] no need for an immediate rematch as we have already beaten him. Only the two judges did not give the score to Donnie. We want Donnie to fight another highly rated opponent for the WBO world super flyweight title.”
Villamor made sure their future goal at the weight beyond winning the aforementioned WBO title is to take on the best pugilists who are competing at super flyweight.
“We want to see Donnie fight the top 115 pounders like [Srisaket Sor] Rungvisai, [Juan Francisco] Estrada, and [Roman] Chocolatito [Gonzalez] in the future.”
When this writer asked who the trainer would pick to test their talent against, the latter simply answered, “any of them we are ready to fight.”
Obviously, it is too early to know about the date and opponent regarding the ring return of Nietes at this moment, however, thanks to his always professional attitude and humble performances, the Filipino pugilist is supposed to be seen on the next SuperFly card that would serve as his third straight appearance in the series.
“On behalf of ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer we would like to thank ABS CBN [ALA’s television partner in the Philippines], HBO’s Peter Nelson and 360 Promotions’ Tom Loeffler for making Donnie Nietes part of the SuperFly series,” concluded Villamor.
According to promoter and founder of the series, Tom Loeffler, the fourth edition of SuperFly could return to HBO early next year.
You can reach Tamas Pradarics at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @TomiPradarics.