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article imageDonnie Nietes targets 3rd major world title for the Philippines

By Leo Reyes     Apr 27, 2017 in Sports
Former WBO Light Flyweight champion Donnie Nietes aims to grab the vacant IBF Flyweight title Saturday against Komgrich Nantapech of Thailand in the main event of the Pinoy Pride 40 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City, Philippines.
If he wins, he becomes a three-division world champion and will join Manny Pacquiao and Jerwin Ancajas as one of the three reigning world champions from the Philippines.
Nietes is coming off a unanimous decision win over former WBC Light Flyweight Champion Edgar Sosa in September 2016 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. It was Nietes' first fight after moving up to the 112 pounds limit.
Nietes has long been fighting at 108 pounds (Junior Flyweight limit ) and has fought a good number of title challengers in the division.
While he did not admit the real reason for his move, Nietes' debut in the full Flyweight limit marks the beginning of his search for lucrative fights which he could not find in the Light Flyweight division. Read more:
Last year, the Philippines had five reigning world champions that includes Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Marlon Tapales, Johnriel Casimero and Jerwin Ancajas.
With Donaire's unexpected loss to Jessie Magdaleno and with Casimero moving up and Tapales losing his title in the scales last week, the country was left with only two reigning world champions (Pacquiao and Ancajas).
Nietes is favored to win over the young Thai challenger who has a 60 percent KO rate. Nantapech has not lost a fight since losing to Filipino Froilan Saludar in 2013. He has won 15 straight fights since his loss to Saludar.
“I don’t care what people say [about] him, but as far as I’m concerned, I just need to focus on our fight,” Nietes told Rappler. “In my opinion, I can really handle him. It’s possible for me to knock him out, but we’re not looking for that [knockout],” he added.
Nantapech is confident he will prevail over Nietes saying the longest-reigning Filipino world champion is past his prime.
“He’s a very good boxer but he may be old,” said Nantapech. “Age will be my advantage. I’m young.” he added.
More about donnie nietes, Boxing, pinoy pride
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