One of the most underrated fighters in the sport of
boxing today is likely Donnie Nietes. The diminutive Filipino, who just
turned 31, has been a world champion at two weights for the better part of
six years, reigning at strawweight before abdicating his throne to step up
three pounds where he now campaigns at light flyweight. Despite some nice wins
on his ledger over the likes of Pornsawan Porpramook (UD 12), Mario Rodriguez
(UD 12) and Ramon Hirales (UD 12), Nietes still seemingly remains on the
fringes. Most recently, we saw him face WBO strawweight champion Moises Fuentes
in a fast-paced bout that was scored a draw. Currently, Nietes, who wears the
WBO 108-pound strap, is enjoying a well-deserved break and healing two bad cuts
he suffered in the bout (according to his promoter, Michael Aldeguer, CEO of
ALA Promotions). He plans to return in August to make a voluntary defence
though acknowledges, “What may happen though would be a rematch with Fuentes in
the end of the year or early next year.” Nietes is currently 31-1-4 (17) and
ranked number two at light flyweight by The
Anson Wainwright – Recently, you
fought Moises Fuentes. The fight was ruled a draw. Could you talk us through
Donnie Nietes - It is a draw but to me, I won the
fight. He had rounds six, seven, eight, nine and 10 but I dominated rounds one,
two, three, four, five, 11 and 12. He had thrown several body punches in the
seventh round when I had my cuts but I had blocked them. Anyways, that’s how it
is in boxing - judges saw it differently. There’s nothing I can do about it. I
have to respect the judges’ decision.
AW - You were behind after 10 rounds but showed your heart coming on and
winning the last two rounds. Can you tell us about your mindset after 10
rounds? Did you feel you were behind and had to win those last two rounds?
DN - In every fight I have, it is always in my mind and in my heart to win. I
know I was ahead of him but have to fight harder in the 11th and 12th rounds to give him a good fight.
AW - It's still very early but what are your thoughts on what you'd like to do
DN - Right now, what is on my mind after a few days of vacation, I will go back
to the gym to train and to prepare…be ready for the next fight.
AW - You have fought in Mexico three times, winning on each occasion. Is going
to Mexico for a rematch with Fuentes something you'd be interested in?
DN - If you ask me if there would be a rematch, I
would like to do it in a neutral country, perhaps in the U.S. It is really up
to my manager.
AW - What are your thoughts on the light flyweight division including the
other champions, the WBC’s Adrian Hernandez, the WBA’s Roman Gonzalez and the IBF’s
DN - All of them are champions. If I’m ever given the
chance, it will be my privilege to fight any world champion.
AW - It was mentioned last year that you might face Gonzalez in America on
the Brian Viloria-Hernan Marquez undercard. Could you tell us from your point
of view what happened and why that fight never happened?
DN – Maybe there are things that are not meant to be
at this time but I know time will tell what is best for me in the future,
especially with the guidance of my manager, “Sir ALA,” and promoter, “Sir Mike
AW - If we look at the flyweight division, it is very strong in the
Philippines where you have Brian Viloria, a half-Filipino, and Sonny Boy Jaro,
Milan Melindo, Rocky Fuentes and Froilan Saludar. What are your thoughts on
DN - If it is for a mandatory [defense, I will face
them]. [Otherwise] it is not possible that a Filipino boxer will fight against
a Filipino boxer.
AW - People are always looking for the next up-and-comer in the sport. Who
do you see as the best young fighter in the Philippines?
DN - I would say Genesis Servania. He has what takes
to be a champion. He has the skills, the ability and a heart of a champion.
AW – Interestingly, once upon a time, you were the janitor at the ALA Gym. Could
you tell us about those days and how things played out in ending up becoming a
DN - When I first joined ALA Gym, I remember I was an
amateur boxer and everyone in the gym had his own task. My task was to do the
cleaning and sweeping the floor and the canvas. I was so thin. What was on my
mind during those times, I had to work and train harder in order for me to be
fit and ready to become a professional boxer. I turned to professional boxing
when I was 19 years old. I had learned to train harder and work harder and
fortunately, became a world champion when I was 24 years old.
AW - Tell us about yourself and what you enjoy doing away from boxing.
DN - Aside from taking care of my snake pets, I do
swimming and biking. I am now into biking because I feel it is just like
training in the gym, developing your stamina when biking to the mountainous
areas. It is just like continuing your training in the gym but in a different
aspect – closer to Mother Nature.
AW - You're a two-division world champion. What other goals do you have in
DN - Right now, I will be training harder and be prepared
for my next title defence, moving up to a higher division, [it] really depends.
I will wait for my manager’s decision. As for me, my role is to be ready and be
prepared for anyone who will challenge me.
AW - In closing do you have a message for the light flyweight division?
See you in the ring...