MANILA, Philippines – Donnie “Ahas” Nietes, the longest reigning Filipino boxing champion, will embark on a new challenge when he moves up to the flyweight division in September.
Nietes is vacating his WBO light-flyweight title, which he held for almost six years, after making a ninth defense against Raul Garcia last May. He will make his flyweight debut against former world champion Edgar Sosa of Mexico on September 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson City, California.
“I was ready to leave the light flyweight division before (fighting) Garcia,” Nietes told ALA Boxing. “I was thinking he would be my last opponent at 108 pounds. The next thing I did was to ask my manager and promoter, and I am very glad they granted my request.”[EMBED on ‘ALA Boxing’: http://www.alaboxing.com/2016/08/donnie-nietes-one-world-champion-at-a-time-qa/]
Nietes said that after dominating the light-flyweight division, he wants to “fight bigger names.”
“I believe I’m done with the 108-pound division. There’s no one else for me,” he said. “I want to go after the other world champions out there. One world champion at a time, but I want to fight more if I can.”
“I’m very excited,” Nietes said of his move to flyweight. “I get a lot of positive comments from the people who’ve waited for this move, and it gives me so much encouragement.”
He is more comfortable at flyweight, said Nietes, and “Ahas” does not foresee any need for major adjustment. However, he did opt to start training for his September fight earlier than usual, and has already done two weeks’ worth of sparring.
“I would say the training’s at the same level as before,” Nietes said. “But of course, we want to make sure that the speed, power, and skills are in a higher level, now that I’m fighting for a higher weight division.”
Nietes is anticipating a tough fight against the Mexican Sosa, and vows not to let his guard down.
“I know this won’t be an easy first (flyweight) fight for me,” he said.
“I want to be very prepared, that’s why I’ve decided to train earlier,” he added. “I want to give a great fight as I make my 112-pound debut.”
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