“It took me a long time to think about this very difficult decision but I feel that every fight for me at this stage of my career is crucial for my future. I have been long dreaming of having a career-defining fight and there’s not much time for me in the sport after 37 years old.” said Donnie Nietes will soon vacate the WBO super flyweight title to pursue other opportunities, the veteran fighter announced in a letter addressed to the WBO.The long-standing relationship of Nietes and the WBO started in 2006 when he won his first regional belt, WBO’s Asia Pacific minimum-weight title.
He defended this title twice-in-a-row then claiming the WBO World title in 2007 against Pornsawan Porpramool of Thailand.He safeguarded that title four times until 2010 when he moved up and won the WBO light flyweight title with a victory against Ramos Garcia Hirales. Between 2011 and 2016, Nietes held onto the titles fruitfully defending his belt nine times before aiming for the flyweight division. Nietes became the longest reigning world champion in Philippine boxing history.
The WBO Inter-Continental flyweight title was subsequent for Nietes that was claimed with a decision victory against Edgar Sosa. Nietes had a short break with the WBO when he claimed the IBF flyweight title back in 2017.Nietes faced off with fellow Filipino Aston Palicte for the WBO belt again of the super flyweight division. The fight concluded with a contentious draw, a result to many upset with as audiences and critics thought Nietes was the rightful victor.
He was given another chance later for the same said belt as he defeated Zakuto Ioka of Japan to cement as the country’s third four-division world champion after Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire.Re-matching with Palicte was theoretically be the next plan for Nietes but eventually decided for his career to chase a bigger fight even if it inevitably losing his WBO title. Nietes could be shooting up to the bantamweight division and chasing boxers such as Donaire and Naoya Inoue who currently hold the super and regular versions of the WBA 118-pound title.
Nietes held, “Hopefully in the future, I can be given a chance to become a WBO World Champion again before I retire.”The other champions are WBC’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai and WBA’s Khalid Yafai.