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MANILA, Philippines – What he failed to do against a compatriot, Donnie Nietes will try to achieve against a Japanese on New Year’s Eve.
Nietes was held to a split draw by Ashton Palicte last September, derailing his bid for a fourth world crown.
Given another chance against fellow three-division champion Kazuto Ioka, the 36-year-old Nietes promised to deliver in their duel for the vacant World Boxing Organization super flyweight title at Wynne Palace Cotai in Macau on Monday night, December 31.
Though he did not mention knocking out Ioka, Nietes hinted that it’s his intention.
“Mas magiging agresibo ako ngayon (I’ll be more aggressive this time),” Nietes told Rappler a few minutes before boarding his flight from Manila to Macau on Christmas noon. “I don’t want to leave the decision to the judges.”
According to Nietes, who toes a 41-1-5 slate with 23 knockouts, he’s comfortable with what he has attained in 4 months of preparations under chief trainer Edito Villamor at the ALA Gym in Cebu,
“I believe 100% that I would win,” said Nietes, who climbed to 115-pound division after reigning in the 105, 108 and 112 categories.
Villamor also exuded confidence in his fighter’s chances against Ioka (21-1 with 13 knockouts).
“The changes in his sparring partners in the last month did him good,” said Villamor. “He really unloaded his punches.”
While Nietes sparred mostly with crack ALA fighters like Jonas Sultan, Athur Villanueva, Jeo Santisima and KJ Cataraja, Villamor decided to bring in Renoel Panel and Elias Joaquino for variety last month.
And Villamor believes they provided Nietes with new perspectives on how to deal with Ioka.
Villamor said Nietes notched about a hundred rounds of sparring and has his weight in check at 121 pounds while eating normally.
Apart from Edito, Nietes was accompanied by trainer Edmond Villamor and strength and conditioning coach Nick Curson. – Rappler.com