Donnie Nietes vacates title

Roy Luarca
The longest reigning Filipino boxing titlist opts to relinquish his WBO super flyweight belt


NO GO. Donnie Nietes begs off from a WBO-mandated rematch against compatriot Aston Palicte. File photo by Alvin S. Go/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Donnie Nietes would rather wait for a more lucrative fight than dangle the World Boxing Organization super flyweight belt against countryman Aston Palicte.

Instead of taking part in the purse bid mandated by the WBO for the right to stage their rematch, Nietes opted to relinquish the 115-pound title with no opponent yet in sight. (READ: WBO orders Nietes-Palicte II)

“After thinking hard about it for a long time, I have decided to vacate my WBO super flyweight belt. I feel in my heart that there is no point to do the rematch with Aston Palicte after the controversial draw,” said Nietes, the 37-year-old four-division world champion, in a statement. (READ: Dubious draw denies Donnie Nietes fourth division title)

Their title clash last September 8 ended in a split draw, after which Nietes beat Japanese Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve in Macau to claim the throne. (READ: Before year ends, Nietes captures 4th world title)

For his part, Palicte knocked out Puerto Rican Jose Martinez in the second round of their title eliminator on January 31 to earn the right to challenge Nietes again. (READ: Palicte stops Puerto Rican, forges rematch with Nietes)

“I hope to seek bigger fights with the world champions of the other organizations. It may or may not happen but I believe this is the right decision under the situation.”

ALA Promotions, which handles Nietes career, is pursuing unification bouts with the winner of the World Boxing Council super flyweight title duel between Thai Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada on April 26 in Inglewood, California, or World Boxing Association champion Khalid Yafai.

“Also I would want to give my fellow Filipino Aston Palicte a chance for the World title to bring pride and glory to our country,” added Nietes, who owns the distinction of being the longest reigning Filipino boxing titlist.

The 28-year-old Palicte is likely to be pitted against fourth-ranked Ioka as the No. 2  Estrada and No. 3 Ryuichi Funai, who will challenge International Boxing Federation champion Jerwin Ancajas on May 4, are unavailable. –