Nietes, Fuentes vow to win via knockout this SaturdayBy Dale G. Rosal
There can be only one.
With both fighters vowing to take the lights out from each other, this Saturday’s encounter between reigning WBO light flyweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes of the Philippines and WBO minimum weight world champion Moises “Baby Faced Assassin” Fuentes is eyed as a virtual dogfight with a dash of history on the side.
Nietes (31-1-3,17KOs) and Fuentes (26,1-0 20KOs) promised the fight won’t last the full 12 rounds in the main event of Pinoy Pride XVIII: World Champion Vs. World Champion at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
The card will also feature the undefeated WBO Asia Pacific superbantamweight champion Genesis “Azukal” Servania who will face veteran Angky “Time Bomb” Angkotta in the co-main event.
“I’ve prepared for this fight for a long time now so I’m really ready for him (Fuentes),” said Nietes during yesterday’s final presscon at Waterfront. “If he can’t knock me out, I will be the one to knock him out because I know his style after watching [his fights in] videos.”
ALA Boxing Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer and WBO Asia Pacific Supervisor Leon Panoncillo were also at the press conference and the rest of the card’s fighters.
The event is held exactly 49 years after another world champion vs. world champion bout featuring Flash Elorde and Puerto Rican Carlos Ortiz was held here in the country. Elorde lost to Ortiz in that bout.
“Come and be part of history. It was 49 years ago when two great champions fought here in the Philippines—Carlos Ortiz and Flash Elorde—and it was not easy for me to put up this fight. As all of you remember, I had to negotiate with Zanfer Promotions in Mexico to bring the fight here and it was really a tough challenge for me and to the promotions. But here we are today, bringing another world class boxing match to Cebu because it is our commitment to bring fights like these to our country,” said Aldeguer.
Fuentes said he is ready and confident against Nietes.
“He is my toughest rival but when we go inside the ring, only God will know who will emerge victorious,” said Fuentes. “I am fighting a legend, that’s what keeps me motivated because if you want to become the best, you have to beat the best.”
Meanwhile, Panoncillo said there is no need for Fuentes’ camp to be worried about the inclusion of Filipino referee Danrex Tapdasan in the judges’ table.
Fuentes’ manager Jorge Barrera earlier questioned the inclusion of Tapdasan but Panoncillo said the WBO itself, headed by its president Paco Valcarcel, chose the three judges composed of Tapdasan and Americans Adelaide Byrd and Pat Russel. American Jack Reiss will be the referee.
Barrera recalled that Tapdasan gave the win to Nietes against Mexican Ramon Garcia Hirales in Bacolod last 2010 for the WBO lightflyweight title via a 12-round unanimous decision. Panoncillo said he is confident Tapdasan will be fair.
“I don’t think one judge will risk his career by making a hometown decision. Because if he’ll do that, then that’s the end of his assignments as a WBO judge,” Panoncillo said.
In the co-main event, Servania will try to extend his winning streak to 20 when he faces Angkotta. Also fighting in the undercard is Jimrex “The Executioner” Jaca, who will face Thailand’s Rachamongkol Sor Pleonchit.
The final weigh-in will be held today at the SM City Cebu Activity Center at 12 noon. A press conference with legendary Mexican boxer Marco Antonio Barrera will also be held prior to the weigh in. Barrera will be at Fuentes’ side during fight night.