Donnie Nietes to face Norbelto Jimenez on December 11 in Dubai
Donnie Nietes will face two-time title challenger Norbelto Jimenez on December 11 in his first fight under new promoter Probellum.
The card, which takes place at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will be headlined by the WBO bantamweight title fight between John Riel Casimero and mandatory challenger Paul Butler.
The Nietes-Jimenez fight will be a WBA 115-pound eliminator bout, which would put the winner in line for a shot at the belt held by Juan Francisco Estrada.
Nietes (43-1-5, 23 knockouts), a four-division world titleholder from Murcia, Negros Occidental, Philippines, is fighting for the first time since winning a unanimous decision over Pablo Carrillo in April, which was preceded by over two years of inactivity following his WBO junior bantamweight title win over Kazuto Ioka.
Nietes then vacated the belt instead of facing mandatory challenger Aston Palicte, a decision that ended up derailing his momentum at a time when the 115-pound weight class was becoming one of the sport’s most lucrative.
Jimenez (30-9-5 16 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is also fighting to get back into a big fight. The 30-year-old settled for a draw with Kohei Kono in his 2014 challenge for the WBA junior bantamweight title, and lost a unanimous decision against Khalid Yafai for the same title in 2019.
Edito Villamor, the long-time trainer of Nietes, says Nietes needs a statement-making victory to make his case for another title fight.
“He needs to win convincingly so that the dream fight he wants will make it happen,” said Villamor.
Nietes and Casimero, both from the Philippines, will be joined on the card by their compatriot Jayson Mama (16-0, 9 KOs, who will be challenging IBF flyweight titleholder Sunny Edwards (16-0, 4 KOs).
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