Cebu City welcomes home Filipino boxing champ Donnie Nietes
CEBU CITY, Philippines - Hours arriving from a long-haul flight from the US, Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino world boxing champion, decided to give up sleep to meet Cebu media and other supporters in a press conference and thanksgiving dinner held in his honor.
“Duka pa kaayo pero gusto nako hatagan ni ug oras,” Nietes told the crowd gathered at the Susan Elizabeth Function Hall of St. Mark Hotel, Wednesday night, February 28.
(I am still very sleepy but I would like to spare time for this.)
It was the first victory party of Nietes in the Philippines after his stunning defense of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) world flyweight title with a 7th round technical knockout of Juan Carlos Reveco of Argentina last February 25.
Nietes, along with his coach, Edmund Villamor, and trainer Edito Villamor, was profuse with gratitude to all those who gathered for believing and supporting him.
“Siempre lipay jud kaayo ko nga ing-ato na performance ang napakita ko sa usa ka big event sama sa HBO Boxing. Nalipay ko kay daghan ko napabilib na mga promoter, manager ug fans,” said Nietes, when asked of his reaction to the praises heaped on him by the HBO broadcasters.
(Of course, I am very happy that I was able to show them that kind of performance especially in a big event like HBO Boxing. I am happy because I was able to wow many promoters, managers and fans.)
“Nidako sad akong atay,” Nietes quipped about HBO broadcaster Max Kellerman calling him a master and not merely an expert with the technical skills that he had shown in his fight against Reveco which elicited laughter from those present.
(My liver ballooned [A Visayan expression to being praised].)
As to being compared to undefeated American boxer Andre Ward, Nietes agrees saying that he idolizes the guy as well.
Edito Villamor was happy that American commentators were finally able to see the talent of his ward and especially appreciative of likening him to a master and not just an expert.
Edito said that most commentators, even here in the Philippines, are used to Manny Pacquiao’s style and overlook the style of other Filipino boxers.
He said that Nietes had given his all in that fight against Reveco. He said Nietes perfectly executed the gameplan. For that performance Nietes truly deserved to be the Philippine’s longest reigning boxing champion.
Nietes admitted that he had difficulty in the first 3 rounds against Reveco because the Argentinian was able to parry his punches.
According to Edmund, he and Edito conferred with Freddie Roach who warned them to watch out for Reveco’s upperhand and hook. Nietes had sparred at Roach’s boxing gym in the US in preparation for the fight.
Nietes said he was considering moving up from the 112-pound flyweight class to the 115-pound super flyweight where the big names of boxing were.
“Kung ako papili-on mas maayo na musaka nako kay wa nay challenge sa 112-pound, ang mga big names naa na sa super fly sama nilang Estrada (Juan Francisco) ug Chocolatito (Roman Gonzalez), so mas maayo na musaka nasad ko, tutal di mana problema ang timbang,” said Nietes, who is the longest reigning Filipino boxing champion.
(if I were to choose, it is better if I go up because there is no longer a challenge in the 112-pound. The big names are already in the super fly like Estrada (Juan Francisco) and Chocolatito (Roman Gonzalez), so it is better if I go up too, anyways, the weight will not be a problem.)
Edmund said he had no problem whatever was the decision of Nietes. He was confident the world champion would continue to train hard regardless of his weight class. Edmund added that it would also depend on his promoter.
Edito, for his part, said the decision would probably depend on Nietes’ weight and condition. Edito said Nietes training weight is 125 pounds. Should he go up to 130 pounds after a month of training then he could moved up to the super flyweight class, but if he stays at 125 pounds, then he should remain in the flyweight class, said Edito Villamor.
At 35 years old, Nietes said his fighting years in boxing will depend on the condition of his body. He added that if at 40 he will still be in top condition, then he will still be fighting.
Nietes said he was eager to go up against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, saying that it will be a good match as they are both Asians and that he has a good chance against the Thailander.
However, Edito said there was still no discussion about a unification. – Rappler.com