Filipino boxers

Nietes arrives in Dubai, ‘ready for battle’ vs Carrillo

Roy Luarca

TOP FORM. Donnie Nietes’ camp says the 38-year-old boxer is in ‘superb condition.’

File photo by Alvin S.Go/Rappler

Donnie Nietes is eager to prove that even after a two-year layoff, he's more than capable of clinching the vacant WBO super flyweight crown

It’s been over two years since Donnie Nietes went out of the country for a title fight. But for the four-division world champion, nothing has changed.

When he left for Dubai, UAE, on Tuesday, March 30, Nietes feels he still wields the skill and power that made him one of the most avoided super flyweights.

“I’m okay. Ready for battle,” said Nietes in Filipino. “I have trained long and hard for this (fight).”

Nietes is eager to prove that at 38 he’s more than capable of clinching the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) international super flyweight crown at stake in his 12-rounder against Colombian Pablo Carrillo on Saturday, April 3 at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai.

Tagged as favorite, Nietes refuses to be complacent.

“This will be a tough bout. There’s no reason to be confident,” said Nietes, who was accompanied by longtime trainer Edmund Villamor.

Having been with Nietes for 18 years, Villamor assures fans that the pride of Murcia, Negros Occidental will be in peak form against Carrillo.

“His (Nietes) preparation is over the top. We have been training continuously since last year and he’s in superb condition,” said Villamor.

“It really helped that he got quality sparring with Jeo (Santisima) and KJ (Cataraja),” said Villamor. “Nietes will be 100% on fight night.”

According to Nietes, he weighed 118 pounds, just 3 pounds over the limit, before boarding time and will shed the excess weight on Friday.

Nietes (42-1-5 with 23 knockouts) last fought on December 31, 2018, besting Kazuto Ioka by split decision for the vacant WBO super flyweight belt. In contrast, Carrillo (26-7-1, 16 KOs) lost to Ioka by unanimous decision in 2014.

The 32-year-old Carrillo got stopped by Francis Rodriguez Jr in 2018 while Nietes beat Rodriguez by unanimous decision in 2015.

For Nietes, however, these past results hardly matter. When he and Carrillo step on the ring, it will be another chapter to his illustrious career. –