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Donnie Nietes wants all the big names at 112 pounds

Fighters Network
Photo credit: Ryan Songalia

Photo credit: Ryan Songalia

MANILA, Philippines – Not being a reigning titleholder is something Donnie Nietes will have to get used to. The Filipino boxer formally relinquished the WBO junior flyweight title on Thursday at a press conference in Manila, opting to move up in weight rather than fulfill a mandatory against Moises Fuentes, whom Nietes has already knocked out in their May 2014 rematch.

Friday was his first official day as a “former” champion since he first captured the belt in 2011 (Nietes is still listed as THE RING magazine junior flyweight champion) and it was a day he spent training hard at the ALA Gym in Quezon City.

Photo credit: Ryan Songalia

Photo credit: Ryan Songalia

The 34-year-old is set to face former junior fly champ Edgar Sosa on Sept. 24 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California in his first test at 112 pounds. It’s unclear what Sosa has left at age 36, having but one fight since a second round knockout loss to Roman Gonzalez in May of 2015, but Nietes isn’t leaving anything to chance.

“He isn’t just any boxer; he’s a good boxer and a former champion, so, I wouldn’t be too confident. That’s why I’m really training hard,” said Nietes (38-1-4, 22 knockouts) of Sosa, whose record stands at 52-9 (30 KOs).