Nietes eyes WBO crown versus Colombian pug

AFTER 27 months of layoff, former four-division world champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes is back in the boxing ring when he trades leather with Colombian Pablo Carrillo for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) international super flyweight strap.

Donnie Nietes (left) and Pablo Carrillo MTK GLOBAL BOXING PHOTOS

The fight is set on April 4, 2021 at 4 a.m. (Philippine time).

At 38 years old, the Murcia, Negros Occidental native is out on a mission to reclaim his ranking in the boxing hierarchy when he fights in one of the featured bouts of the D4G Promotions “Legacy” show at the Rotunda of the Caesars Palace Bluewaters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Nietes tipped the scales at 114.9 pounds while Carrillo weighed in at 114.6 lbs.

Considered one of the best Filipino fighters and the longest-reigning Filipino champion, Nietes is at his usual hardworking self, leaving no stone unturned in his preparation for the much-awaited fight.

A victory for Nietes will give him the chance to enter the world ranking and, possibly, a shot at a world title.

Though he has the advantage in terms of experience against the 34-year-old Colombian, Nietes’ camp is not taking the fight lightly.

Nietes has been off the rust as he hasn’t seen action since winning his fourth division world title against Japanese star Kazuto Ioka via split decision in Macau last Dec. 31, 2018.

Like Nietes, Carrillo has had his own boxing layoff that has spanned 19 months. He hasn’t fought since he stopped Luis Golindano in the fifth round last Aug. 23, 2019.

Nietes, who holds a 42-1-5 win-loss-draw record with 23 knockouts (KOs), formerly held straps in the minimumweight, light flyweight, flyweight and super flyweight divisions. He has been the longest-reigning Filipino world champion since he has held his minimumweight and junior flyweight titles for a span of nearly nine years.

Earlier, the former ALA stalwart told The Manila Times that among the big names whom he wants to face are the likes of Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.

To advance to bigger fights, Nietes must hurdle the challenges posed by Carrillo, who has a 25-7-1 record with 16 KOs. Carrillo is no stranger to big names, having once fought Francisco Rodriguez Jr., Luis Concepcion and Ioka.