world boxing

Nietes seeks ‘greatest victory’ in rematch vs Ioka for WBO belt

Delfin Dioquino
Nietes seeks ‘greatest victory’ in rematch vs Ioka for WBO belt

REMATCH. Donnie Nietes (right) and Kazuto Ioka face off again for the WBO super flyweight belt.

Probellum Instagram page

Donnie Nietes, 40, aims to reclaim his status as world champion as he tries to wrest the WBO super flyweight belt from Kazuto Ioka

MANILA, Philippines – At 40, Donnie Nietes feels like the best is yet to come.

Nietes aims to reclaim his status as world champion as he tries to wrest the WBO super flyweight belt from Kazuto Ioka in their title rematch in Tokyo, Japan on Wednesday, July 13.

The pride of Negros Occidental beat Ioka nearly four years ago to secure the WBO crown he eventually vacated months after.

“I think this win would rank as the greatest victory of my career because the fight is taking place in his hometown,” said Nietes in a press release from boxing promotion Probellum.

“I am really excited for this rematch with Ioka and I plan to use the same tactics as in 2018 because I do not believe he has changed much since our first fight.”

Aside from personal glory, Nietes will put the Philippines on his back after the country got left with no current world champion, with Mark Magsayo losing his WBC featherweight belt earlier this July.

Magsayo suffered a split decision loss to Rey Vargas of Mexico to join a notable list of Filipino boxers who yielded their world titles this year.

Nonito Donaire (WBC bantam), Jerwin Ancajas (IBF super fly), and Rene Mark Cuarto (IBF minimum) all lost their title defenses, while Johnriel Casimero (WBO bantam) got stripped of his belt.

Recapturing the WBO crown, though, is a tall order given Nietes’ age and career trajectory.

Since he faced Ioka, Nietes fought only twice, beating Colombian Pablo Carrillo via unanimous decision in April last year and settling for a split draw with Dominican Norbelto Jimenez in December.

On the other hand, the 33-year-old Ioka has gone on a five-fight winning streak since his loss to Nietes and defended the WBO belt four straight times.

But Nietes – who has not tasted defeat in nearly 18 years and totes an impressive 43-1-6 win-loss-draw record – believes he has plenty of gas left in the tank.

“I think I could box for another three to five years,” Nietes said.

“I do not have any vices and I am not that abusive of my body, so I believe I can still be fighting for that long.”

Fight time is 8 pm (Manila time). – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.