Donnie Nietes gets new foe

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Last-minute adjustments. After preparing for a different opponent for weeks, Donnie Nietes will have to make necessary adjustments for the next four weeks as he was given a new foe for the Pinoy Pride 30, which he will co-headline with Nonito Donaire Jr. on March 28 in Manila. (Sun.Star file photo)


WITH just a little over a month before his world title defense, World Boxing Organization (WBO) light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes has an opponent change. Instead of Luis Ceja, Nietes will be defending his belt against another Mexican, Gilberto Parra, in the main event of Pinoy Pride 30 on March 28 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

Ceja was originally Nietes’ opponent for the fight, then the WBO ordered the 32-year-old longest reigning Filipino world champion to face ex-world titleholder Francisco Rodriguez after the latter beat Jomar Fajardo by unanimous decision in Mexico last month.

But because Rodriguez won’t be ready by March 28, Zanfer Promotions, which promotes him, offered another fighter, Parra, to face Nietes, with the winner fighting Rodriguez in July.

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“It’s a mandatory fight with Rodriguez supposedly and since he is not ready for March 28, Zanfer has offered their other fighter Parra with the winner fighting Rodriguez in July,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer.

Parra is a legitimate contender, rated 13th in the WBO and fourth in the World Boxing Association (WBA), and has a respectable record of 19-2 with 17 knockouts.

Parra has won four of his last five fights and is coming off a no-contest with Maximino Flores last month.

“It’s still early. Donnie can adjust (to Parra),” said Aldeguer. “Any Mexican will always be a threat as they have nothing to lose.”

Aldeguer said that if Nietes beats Parra then ALA Promotions will try its best to bring the mandatory fight with Rodriguez here in Cebu on July 4.

Nietes’ preparation at the ALA Gym is going according to plan with the fight looming.

“I have sparred for more than 50 rounds. I have been working on my movement, always moving in-and-out and throwing more punch combinations,” said Nietes, who has been sparring with Gerald Suico and some of the new boxers of the ALA Gym.

Filipino superstar Nonito Donaire Jr. will co-headline the event with Nietes. He is slated to fight for the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super bantamweight strap against Brazilian William Prado.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2015.

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