Limpag: Donnie cements legendary status

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

WITH his latest win, Donnie Nietes, the longest-reigning Filipino world champion now has 35 wins, 1 loss and 4 draws with 21 knockouts.

That nine round demolition of pretender Gilberto Parra in Pinoy Pride 30 was just the latest showing in a long line of impressive wins this unassuming, and sometimes overlooked champion from Cebu by way of Murcia had.

I know, just like I was, you are curious to know who was that fighter that handed Donnie his lone loss. If not for the judges who were out celebrating Earth Hour instead of judging a fight, Donnie would have been an undefeated champion right now. His lone loss came against Indonesian Angky Angkota, a controversial loss that had even the Indonesian promoter calling Antonio Aldeguer to tell him that his own fighter lost and as proof as that, his Indonesian ward lost two teeth in his “victory!”


Even the World Boxing Organization, the most respectable of all the alphabet associations, seem to take Donnie for granted. Consider that in the weeks leading to Pinoy Pride 30, they let Zanfer Promotions dictate who the Filipino champion should face.

Originally scheduled to face Luis Ceja, Donnie was told to fight Francisco Rodriguez, that one-time Cebu visitor in Pinoy Pride 28.

Rodriguez couldn’t be ready for March 28, Zanfer said, so they conveniently offered another fighter in Gilberto Parra. A boxer refusing a title fight when some would sell their mothers for a shot? Come on!

So with Parra out, Donnie will face Rodriguez next, in a mandatory title defense in Cebu on July 4. It stinks how that happens, but knowing Nietes, he’s only interested in who he faces next, now why he’ll be facing this guy.

Let’s not forget, aside from being the longest-reigning Pinoy world champion, this former utility boy of the ALA gym is also the lone Pinoy champion who made three straight title defenses in hostile Mexico. Those three wins had the Mexican press praising Donnie as a complete fighter, and the fact that Pinoy sportswriters never praise a foe shows how much respect this guy has earned in Mexico.

So, who’s Rodriguez?

If not for another guy named Jomar Fajardo, he could have been facing Nietes last Saturday in the Mall of Asia Arena. Fajardo was just a last-minute replacement for Rodriguez in Pinoy Pride 28, and I think that fight was sort of an introduction for the Mexican so he could face Nietes next. In fact, in the lead-up to the event, he was already talking about facing Donnie.

But Fajardo forgot his part of the script and battered the Mexican to a draw, necessating a rematch last Jan. 31 which the Mexican won by decision.

And that’s the guy Donnie is facing next.

In Cebu.

So fight fans, let’s join Donnie when he hands the red-boxing glove treatment to the Mexican shall we?

It would be a fight that we would all be talking we were lucky to be a witness of in the years to come when gray-haired fight fans debate with youngsters on who was the best Filipino fighter who ever lived.

Oh, in case it wasn’t obvious. His name is Donnie Nietes.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 30, 2015.


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