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WBO orders Donnie Nietes-Aston Palicte for vacant junior bantamweight title

Photo by Jhay Oh Otamias
Fighters Network

The WBO has ordered the camps of Donnie Nietes and Aston Palicte to begin negotiations for their vacant junior bantamweight title, moving them closer to staging the second all-Filipino world title fight this year after a 93 year drought.

A letter dated Monday, April 30 and addressed to Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions, which represents Nietes, and Guy Taylor, matchmaker of Palicte’s promoter Roy Jones Jr. Boxing advised both parties that they have ten days to negotiate an agreement for the fight, after which a purse bid will be ordered.

The minimum acceptable bid for the division is $100,000, and the victor would have to face a mandatory challenger within 90 days of winning the belt, according to the letter.

Both Nietes (41-1-4, 23 knockouts) and Palicte (24-2, 20 KOs) hail from the Philippine province of Negros Occidental. While Nietes is a former three-division champion and one of the country’s most recognized boxers, Palicte is relatively unknown and has yet to fight for a world title.

Nietes, 35, is coming off a knockout win over Juan Carlos Reveco in February, finishing the mandatory challenger for the IBF flyweight title in seven rounds. He vacated the title in April after the WBO installed him as the no. 1 contender for its 115-pound belt, for which Palicte was the no. 2 contender.

Palicte, 27, has won four straight, with his most recent outing being a fifth-round stoppage of former title challenger Jose Alfredo Rodriguez in December.

The last time two Filipinos fought for a world title was in 1925, when Pancho Villa decisioned Clever Sencio in Manila to retain the flyweight championship. The next one is scheduled for May 26 when IBF junior bantamweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas defends against another ALA-promoted fighter Jonas Sultan. 

Aldeguer says that since Ancajas-Sultan is set for Fresno, California, he’d like to host the following all-Filipino clash in the Philippines, and already has a July 21 date for ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Pride” series to televise it.

“It’s going to be a historical moment for Philippine boxing, having two world title fights involving all Filipinos in the same division,” said Aldeguer.

A message to Taylor was not immediately responded to.

Palicte’s manager Jason Soong tells RingTV he’s confident that both sides will be able to reach a deal before a purse bid is ordered.

“I’m just extremely excited we’re finally getting a world title shot which I think Aston deserves,” said Soong. “It couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s the typical matchup between a legendary fighter against a younger, up-and-coming promising challenger.”

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and can be reached at [email protected].