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Donnie Nietes vacates 108-pound belt, moves to flyweight

Donnie Nietes, a former 105-pound beltholder, once held the WBO and RING titles at 108 pounds. He currently holds the IBF flyweight title.
Fighters Network
Photo by Ryan Songalia

Photo by Ryan Songalia

Donnie Nietes has vacated his WBO junior flyweight title as he seeks to campaign at 112 pounds, starting with a showdown against former titleholder Edgar Sosa on Sept. 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

The news was first reported on and later confirmed to RingTV by trainer Edito Villamor.

“Donnie feels that his body right now is ripe to fight in the flyweight division. Although he can still make the junior flyweight limit, Donnie wants to fight in the higher division,” Michael Aldeguer, president of ALA Promotions, told Philboxing. A phone call to Aldeguer seeking additional comment was not immediately answered.

Nietes (38-1-4, 22 knockouts), a former WBO strawweight titleholder as well, had held the 108-pound belt since 2011, ascending to RING champion status in 2014 with his knockout of Moises Fuentes in their rematch. The WBO had previously ordered Nietes to face Fuentes a third time after the Mexican boxer outpointed Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in an eliminator last December.

The 34-year-old Nietes is angling for a fight with WBA/WBO flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada, which will have to wait as Estrada is said to be mandated to face Kazuto Ioka of Japan.

Sosa (52-9, 30 KOs) of Mexico City has fought just once since being stopped in two rounds by RING flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez in May of 2015. The 36-year-old returned in February of this year, weighing 125 pounds in a six-round decision over Orlando Garcia Guerrero. Sosa made 10 successful defenses of the WBC junior flyweight title between 2007 and 2009 before losing it via second round technical knockout to Rodel Mayol. Sosa has fallen short in three attempts to win a second title against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam, Akira Yaegashi and Gonzalez.

“Sosa is a great world champion. He has good skill and he is tough. We will prepare Donnie the best we can,” Villamor tells RingTV.

A WBO regional title will be up for grabs in the 12-round main event, with the winner expected to earn a Top 15 ranking at flyweight by the Puerto Rico-based organization.