Donnie Nietes can beat ‘Chocolatito,’ says trainer
Donnie Nietes may have his American debut to worry about but one of his trainers thinks THE RING junior flyweight champion can fry the biggest fish in the lower weight classes.
The Filipino champion Nietes (36-1-4, 21 knockouts) is set to face Juan Alejo (21-3, 13 KOs) on Oct. 17 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Nietes is currently training in Los Angeles at the Wild Card Gym, sparring with Brian Viloria, who fights that same evening on the other side of the country against Roman Gonzalez, THE RING’s flyweight champion and No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter.
When asked about what would happen if it was Nietes in the opposite corner from the unbeaten Nicaraguan, Edmund Villamor wasn’t shy or reserved in giving his opinion.
“Yes, of course, Donnie can beat Gonzalez,” said Villamor, who trains the 33-year-old alongside his brother, Edito Villamor.
“The skill of Donnie and he’s tougher too. He’s a tactical fighter.”
Nietes, who also holds the WBO junior flyweight belt, will headline the first US promotion of Philippine-based company ALA Promotions. Also tapped for the card is junior welterweight Jason Pagara against Santos Benavides, his younger brother, junior featherweight Albert Pagara versus William Gonzalez and featherweight Mark Magsayo against Yardley Suarez.
While Villamor is confident that Nietes can handle Gonzalez (43-0, 37 KOs) if he decides to go up four pounds to flyweight, he still gives credit to “Chocolatito,” the three-division champion who ascended to the top spot in the pound-for-pound ratings after Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired.
“I was impressed by his performances. It’s a good fight for Donnie and it’s a good matchup for boxing fans,” Villamor said.
Nietes has won titles in two divisions, capturing the WBO strawweight title in 2007 before moving up to 108 pounds. Nietes is 12-0-1 (5 KOs) in world title fights, while Alejo of Guadalupe, Mexico has yet to fight a legitimate contender.