Donnie Nietes set-up camp at Wild Card Gym

THREE-time world champion Donnie Nietes left for the U.S. on Saturday where he resumes his training camp a month before he faces compatriot Aston Palicte for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Jr. Bantamweight title.

Nietes was accompanied by trainer Edmund Villamor as they set-up camp once more at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, California, where they initially trained for almost a month before returning to the country last June.

Lead trainer Edito Villamor will join them in California two weeks before the 12-round fight which serves as the co-featured match of the highly-popular ‘Superfly 3’ series headlined by the Juan Francisco Estrada-Felipe Orucata showdown at The Forum in Inglewood, California on Sept. 8

“Maganda ang takbo ng training niya and preparado talaga siya as always,” Edito Villamor said in a correspondence with from Cebu.

The second world title fight involving two Filipinos this year – after the Jerwin-Ancajas-Jonas Sultan International Boxing Federation super-flyweight clash in May – was originally scheduled for August 18 in Cebu City, but was made part of the ‘Superfly 3’ at the last-minute.

Edito said the change in the fight date hardly affected the training of the 36-year-old Nietes, who hails from Murcia, Negros Occidental and considered the star fighter of Cebu-based ALA boxing stable.

The three-week postponement, according to Edito, was actually to the benefit of Nietes, who formerly held titles at minimumweight, junior flyweight, and flyweight, and is moving up at super-flyweight for the first time.

“Walang problema (sa postponement),” he said. “Mas maganda rin kay Donnie at maka-adjust pa siya lalo ng husto.

“Tamang-tama rin siya sa 115 lbs.”

Nietes, who has won the WBO Mini Flyweight and WBO Jr. Flyweight World titles is looking to be crowned in a third division by the WBO, with a victory over Palicte in the Jr. Bantamweight division. ( Nietes has also won the IBF Flyweight World Title )

Oscar De La Hoya (130 lbs, 135 lbs, 160 lbs), Miguel Cotto (140 lbs, 147 lbs, 154 lbs), Jorge Arce (108 lbs, 115 lbs, 122 lbs), Fernando Montiel (112 lbs, 115 lbs, 118 lbs) and recently Terence Crawford (135 lbs, 140 lbs, 147 lbs) are the only fighters who have won WBO crowns in three different divisions.

The 27-year-old Palicte, a former national team member, has a record of 24-2 with 20 KOS, including three of his last four fights.