Nietes ready to rumble against Mexican


By:  Abac Cordero –

MANILA, Philippines – Reigning WBO light-flyweight champion Donnie Nietes said he’s ready for anything that his Mexican opponent will bring to the table.

“Whatever he does, I’m ready for it,” the longest-reigning Filipino world champion said in anticipation of Saturday’s fight at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Nietes is scheduled to climb the ring against Gilberto Parra and he’s out to stretch his amazing run of 23 straight wins in over 11 years.

He has not lost a fight since September of 2004 when he faced an Indonesian opponent who climbed the ring six pounds over the weight limit.

Nietes recently surpassed the record of the great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde as the longest-reigning Pinoy world champion at seven years and three months.

Edmond Villamor also told The STAR that based on their studies, Parra has the tendency to shift from being a slugger to a boxer.

“Parra carries both styles,” said Villamor in Filipino.

“Minsan pumapasok pero minsan boxer at nag-aabang lang,” he said, adding that Nietes had done everything in training.

Nietes went over a hundred rounds in sparring since January, just enough for him to declare that he’s “100 percent ready” for the fight.

The pride of ALA Boxing Promotions will bring with him a long and impressive record of 34 wins, four draws and a single loss (with 20 knockouts).

He said a knockout will come if Parra comes in.

“If he moves in, I may knock him out,” said Nietes.

But it’s easier said than done because Parra is a knockout artist himself. Of his 19 wins and two defeats, 17 came by knockout.

“We know the history of Nietes with Mexican fighters, and I admire him. But everything has an ending, and the end will come for Nietes on Saturday,” said the Mexican.

“He has good record. But we were able to go over his style,” said Nietes, who will share the spotlight with Nonito Donaire in this Pinoy Pride presentation.

Donaire is out to bounce back from a loss to Nicholas Walters last October, and had gone down to 122 pounds.

The five-division world champion takes on Brazilian William Prado, seeking a victory and perhaps another shot at the super-bantamweight crown.

“Everything is great. I’m doing good,” he said.

AJ Banal Faces Mario Briones on The Garcia-Nietes Bill

MANILA, Philippines—AJ “Bazooka” Banal battles tough, undefeated Mexican champion Mario “Maca” Briones on the undercard of the WBO light flyweight championship between former minimumweight champion Donnie “Ahas” Nietes and reigning 108-pound champion Ramon Garcia Hirales also of Mexico.

The fight card scheduled at the University of St. La Salle Gymnasium in Bacolod City on October 8 will see the 22-year-old southpaw Banal, who has a record of 25-1-1 with 19 knockouts clash with the 25-year-old Briones, who has a record of 20-0-1 with 14 knockouts.

Banal is coming off an unimpressive eighth-round technical decision over Canada’s Tyson Cave last July 30, when a nasty gash above Banal’s right eyebrow which was caused by an accidental clash of heads forced the ring physician to instruct referee Tony Pesons to call a halt and go to the scorecards of the judges.

All three judges had Banal the winner.

Banal had earlier captured the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight title with a cracking second-round knockout of Francis Miyeyusho on March 19.

ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said the only way to find out how far his fighters are capable of going is to match them against tough, credible opponents.

In the case of Banal they decided to get Briones who is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Ulises Castillo last July 16.

By Ronnie Nathanielsz–43752

AJ Banal Targets Rafael Concepcion After Cove Win

Filipino boxer AJ “Bazooka” Banal won a bloody scrap, retaining his World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia-Pacific bantamweight title, with an eight-round technical decision over Canadian Tyson Cove in Cebu, Philippines.

It was a successful defense but complicated for Banal, who bled profusely from a dangerous cut on his right eyebrow after an unintentional clash of heads. Undoubtedly Banal landed the best punches of the fight, especially with combinations initiated by his right jabs, which were followed up by left hooks and right uppercuts.

Cove (15-2, 5KO’s) used a lot of dirty tricks and questionable tactics during the fight, but never lost any points. In the eighth round, the referee stopped the fight, based on the recommendation of the attending physician Dr. Jose Unabia, because Banal’s cut was too severe. The fight went to the scorecards. The scores were 73-79, 74-78, and 74-78 – all in favor Banal.

Banal, 22 years old and ranked by the four major governing bodies, raises his record to 25 wins, 1 loss, and 17 wins by knockout.

After the win, Banal expressed his desire to avenge the only loss of his career. Banal publicly challenged Panamanian Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion. In July of 2008, Concepcion defeated Banal in Cebu in a ​dramatic battle.

“I’m glad I held on to my WBO Asia Pacific title, and now I want to challenge Torito Concepcion,” said Banal to “I hope he (Concepcion) gives me a rematch. Now I’m craving to be a better fighter and I want that fight to clear my record. My agent (Don Antonio L. Aldeguer) supports me and agrees.”

Negotiations for the Banal vs Concepcion II are already in progress.

The supervisor of the fight was WBO Vice-President Mr. Leon Panoncillo of Hawaii. The event was organized by ALA Boxing Promotions and televised in the Philippines by ABC CBN Sports.

By: Carlos Costa–42142