AFTER MORE than four months of training, two division world champion and the current WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes said he is in tip-top shape for his title defense against WBO No. 7 contender Felipe Salguero of Mexico in the Pinoy Pride XIV this June 2 at the Resorts World Manila.
“I am 100 percent ready,” said Nietes, considered as one of the best Filipino boxers in his generation.
The former janitor of the ALA Boxing Gym Nietes will test himself again inside the ring to prove to his critics that age will not became a factor in his title defense.
According to Nietes, he already sparred more than a hundred rounds against fellow ALA boxers Arthur Villanueva and WBO Intercontinental flyweight champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo.
Salguero, the former World Boxing Federation and WBC Youth World light flyweight champion, sports a record of 16-2-1 (win-loss-draw) with 11 knockouts.
Nietes, on the other hand, is eyeing his 17th straight win. He has a record of 29-0-1 with 16 knockouts.
The 29-year-old Murcia,Negros Occidental native Nietes captured his second title in a different division last October in Bacolod after winning over Mexican Ramon Garcia Hirales via unanimous decision.
“We are preparing to do light training in the middle week of May. I am not looking to win by knockout because they said that he is tough and smart inside the ring. I’ll just stick to our gameplan,” said Nietes.
Nietes has already made a name for himself in boxing as he successfully defended his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimum weight crown in Mexico thrice.
Meanwhile, after winning over the whimsical Mexican Juan “Panterita” Esquer to defend his WBO Intercon Flyweight belt, Melindo, still undefeated after 26 bouts, will face former WBO interim light flyweight champion Jesus Geles of Colombia in the undercard of Nietes’ title defense. Geles holds a record of 13 wins, 2 losses and five knockouts. /correspondent dale rosal